Saturday, 30 September 2006

Be Careful Who You Call Old!

According to a recent article in MediaPost’s Marketing Daily, ”. . . when companies do target boomers, the marketing often misses the mark.

We don't have the same need to put people into named pigeon holes here in Europe, but I would also fit onto the tail end of the boomer age group and, I too resent the way we are often looked upon as blithering idiots, or worse, "silver heads walking into the sunset."

One of my pet hates about advertising aimed at the over 50's is this need to somehow remind us of the fact that we either have, or we are about to get grey hair. I don't know about others, but that is not the "me" I envisage when I am NOT looking in the mirror. We want to be hip and cool too - advertisers would be better off using models with a certain amount of maturity, say around 35.

It's what we are more likely to identify with, as it's as far as most of us imagine we've gone!

For instance, this "mistake of marketing to them like they are computer illiterate." For goodness sake, I have been using computers (terminals) since the late 1970's, run mini-computers, had access to personal computers at home since the mid-1980's and managed computer systems and networks for small businesses in the UK in the late 80's, before going to Anderson in 1990, where we had email and I was known as a bit of spreadsheet automation / macro guru! Then, of course, getting online in the mid-late 90's when it arrived here.

Even my late father (born in the 1920's) wasn't computer illiterate.

The article says, "Sheehy also emphasized that younger marketers, in particular, need to understand that boomers are mentally delaying classifying themselves as being "old" for as long as possible."

This is SO true. Like I said, we prefer not to.

My own theory is that "old" is always 15 years older than your parents and, yes, I am aware that this must have an upper limit someplace.

OK, so I will be 50 next year. There, I've said it (I hate the idea.)

But actually, what is any different now than when I was 19?

Not a lot, mentally, at least. The mirror tells a whole other story, although I still don't have grey hair, nor wrinkles and I have not put on excessive weight since then. And my wardrobe is still probably more suited to the hip-hop fraternity than the "twin-set" brigade.

So, I don't have the energy I once had and get more aches, so I pace physical activities and maybe I have developed the common sense not to partake in high-risk activities, but I truly feel that my generation is retaining the same tastes and lifestyles as we had when we were younger and - shock - we also mix in tastes for some of the very same things that today's youth enjoy.

Be Careful Who You Call Old!

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