24 September 2020

Growing Bolder & Ken Dychtwald

Virtual friend Marc Middleton and his crew have been producing Growing Bolder for ….

Well, he was just a young whippersnapper when it all began:

04 October 2008
Growing Bolder Series on PBS
Hi Chuck,
     I thought you might be interested in our news about the Growing Bolder TV Show…

It’s returning this fall:

Sneak Preview of Growing Bolder Season 6
This season, we’re proud to bring you more stories of ordinary people living extraordinary lives…

The GB web site is full of great info, entertainment, videos. Recently, Marc interviewed Gerontologist-Extraordinaire Ken Dychtwald. It’s a down-to-earth, casual, revealing chit-chat:

Good work, Marc!

23 September 2020

Do you want to feel old?

I’ve been writing about ageism for decades – even before I knew there was a term for it. 

Apparently, I was behind the curve. Ageism was coined in 1969. Back then yours truly was nineteen. I don’t remember being ageist. Maybe I was. I thought people were wonderful or  idiots for whatever reasons. The reasons weren’t based on age. My heroes and villains were young and old.

When I was forty-eight or so someone sent me an email (I had a blog about Baby Boomers). A fellow was in the advertising business and said he was fired because he was fifty. I scoffed.  Surely he was fired because he was an idiot.

Then I turned fifty.

That was over twenty years ago.

Recently I stumbled upon a post on Linked-In:

1617754725883Saeed Zaman
VP, Head of Digital Innovation & Integrated Media

I have been getting a lot of messages from people implying that #age has anything to do with anything. I am 42 and will be 43 in December - there, I said it. Which #apparently means I am not up to the #fake and beyond #superficial standards of our #industry (and other industries) obsessed with #Youth and #PopCulture. I don’t care if you’re in your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or beyond. Just like I don’t care if you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s. If you’re #smart, #intelligent and can make sense of your surroundings with a highly #rational and #logical point of view, I’m your biggest fan and you’re most definitely part of my #team. That’s it. Beyond that, I really don’t give a $#%€!

Golly, gee … he’s only a baby!

(Whoops! Am I showing my reverse-ageism?)

Over forty and you’re through. If this trend holds, by 2030 all ad agencies will be staffed by five-to-eleven-year-olds.

Because once you’re twelve, you’re through.

29 July 2020


Where have I been? Like most, Yours Truly has been self-isolating and pretending I’m working.

Advertising to Baby Boomers. For some reason, I haven’t been excited about this subject for the last few months. By the time I get my mask to fit properly without fogging up the glasses and slather on hand sanitizer I forget what I’m supposed to be doing. Then I turn and catch myself in the mirror and with those mask bands pulling on the back of my ears I look like Dopey.

Just a tedious list of things I’ve glanced at since the lockdown:

Boomers and millennials both love Apple and Amazon, but here are the brands they don’t agree on 

Well, we’re also older than sixty-four, but who cares about anybody older than sixty-four.

Don’t Forget Baby Boomers Recognition Day

Nobody over the age of sixty can discern what’s on their smartphone screen with sunglasses on.  Other than that, a perfect representation of this cohort.

Boomers Are the Future of AI and Virtual Reality, Not Millennials
A growing number of firms are developing tech targeted specifically at older people

Hmmm. They’re finally catching on. From my book ©2005 – the cover and pull-quote:

“It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.”

About Advertising but not
about Baby Boomers

Yesterday I tossed up an online course about creativity and advertising. Click the link to watch the introductory video. It’s a fun romp. If for no other reason, you can see how creepy and old I am nowadays:

Digging Around in The Past for Inspiration

18 March 2020

Advertising to Yolds

That’s what many of us are now. Young-Olds – or Yolds.  Hey, it could’ve been even sillier: Old-Youngs – or Oyoungs.

The decade of the "young old" begins
People turning 65 will not retire quietly into the background, predicts John Parker
THE YEAR 2020 will mark the beginning of the decade of the yold…

Mr. Parker is a tad behind the curve with his prediction. Yours Truly (and scores of others) ‘predicted’ this years and years ago. Culled from my book Advertising to Baby Boomers © 2005:

Contrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up. We're not 'looking forward to retirement,' we're looking forward to new lives, new challenges. Only a small percentage will opt for pure retirement. (I predict that in twenty years the word 'retirement' will still be in dictionaries, but followed by the modifier archaic.)

17 AUGUST 2007
Time to Retire the 'R' Word
… Many baby boomers, now turning 60, are healthier and want to work forever. Many shift to different kinds of careers … So "retirement" is kind of an inoperative word.

In a related non-development:

Managers: 3 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Hire More Baby Boomers
Hiring in this demographic may be the best strategy to build a thriving work culture.
By Marcel Schwantes

Good article. It would’ve likewise been good way back in 2003 when I wrote this:

Back into the Fold
The Giant Leap: there had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

Since then … take a look at a collection of moldy yold posts:

Human Resources/Brain Power

I’ll end with one moldy yold post from 2009 that covers both yolds & hiring yolds:

Late Bloomer Boomers
The Late Bloomer Boomer Movement is going full blast, and there’s no stopping it. The magic equation: Thirty-odd years of experience plus not feeling old and being relatively healthy plus knowing you have another 25 years of productivity in you equals …

Off-Topic & Just For Fun:

The Chuck is Very Cool and Cutting-Edge and a Very Important Person Post
Ashton Applewhite, a leading activist and shaker-upper in the You’re-An-Asshole-If-You’re-Ageist world, quoted me in her book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

18 February 2020

Another Dumb Article: Boomer Big Data

Echoing a previous post:

17 APRIL 2019
No News News & Fake News
I’m not linking to any more dumb articles…

It’s amazing how many data firms are out there. I have no idea why there is such an insatiable appetite for jumbles of numbers, slices of shaded pies, arrays of multi-colored lines going every which way.  Abstract art at its most incomprehensible.

Marketers specially love all the mystifying razzle-dazzle.

I read an article recently by someone who works at a big data firm.  The article made no sense.  Or the writer was so blinded by numbers, pies, and lines that it was impossible for this person to think intelligently.  Or the proofreader was on vacation. (I’ve found that most proofreaders nowadays are on permanent vacation.)

Let’s take a look at the first few sentences:

Baby boomers are the fastest-growing demographic in the United States…

Fastest growing demographic? Baby Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964. It is not a fast or slow-growing demographic. This person obviously thinks that people get old and magically morph into baby boomers. 

In 20 years, the population aged 55 and over will account for almost one-third of the U.S. population.

Well, that’s fascinating. But why the above sentence is in the paragraph and why it’s relevant to the article eludes me. Especially when followed by:

Unlike millennials, who are often burdened by student debt and the costs of supporting growing families, boomers have expendable income for in-store and online purchases.

I have no idea what any of the above means, or is trying to mean. Random facts and arbitrary time-frames are haphazardly commingled with jargon-laden gibberish.

Here are the facts:

Today, all baby boomers are over fifty-five years old. If you were born in 1964, you are fifty-five, fifty-six. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 (some sociology experts and demographic outfits assign slightly different years).

In twenty years, all of Gen X and even a handful of Millennials will be 55+.

What the hell does “unlike millennials” have to do with anything?

… After rereading this post, I’m even more confused. It’s difficult to unpack nonsense because unpacking nonsense often makes nonsense more nonsensical, if that makes any sense.

All I know is this: If I get any older, I’ll automatically become a member of the Silent Generation, and if I get really old, I’ll all of a sudden become a member of the WWII generation.

And if I live to be two-hundred and fifty, I’ll automatically become a Founding Father.