Ryan Wallman recently make a few hysterically true marketing predictions for 2019, including “Marketers will continue to ignore all consumers over the age of 35, unless someone discovers a way to put these consumers on the blockchain.”
Baby Boomers control 70% of disposable income in the US, spend close to 50% of consumer products dollars, and have greater buying power in 119 of the top 123 CPG categories. Yet, only 5% of advertising dollars are directed at them.
That’s not even accounting for Gen X, another generation completely overlooked in the myopic pursuit of brands trying to engage Millennials and Generation Z.
Advertising has a twin legacy of ageism in the workplace and poor stereotypes of aging in marketing campaigns that represent a huge missed opportunity.
I thought these observations from Kim Walker of the Silver Group were interesting:
“The belief that seniors are all about hearing aids, spectacles and retirement is absolute bullshit…
“If the opportunity is so big, why aren’t there more agencies or groups that are focused on it? It’s the million dollar question. The reason is that it’s just not cool.
“If you look at the average age of marketing and advertising people in the UK and Australia it’s 33, and it’s very hard to get 33-year-olds excited about selling to 65-year-old.”
Advertising pundit Cindy Gallop addressed this recently as well:
“The ad industry is an extremely ageist industry. When you have older people creating, producing, and approving ads, the problem is easily solved.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years:
“Marketing to Generation Z” March 2015
“Marketing to Younger Generations” August 2015
And this really old cartoon I drew over 15 years ago.
“The Market Research Zoo” June 2003