It's long been known that the marketing community is and always has been obsessed with youth. It's as if no one over the age of 40 exists on the planet -- and certainly no one over 40 is ever seen
walking the hallways of an ad agency. And yet, these "older folks" are continuously found to have more disposable income and to be more than happy to spend that disposable income on all kinds of
Despite the irrational exuberance most every marketer and agency has for Millennials, the AARP -- once known as the American Association of Retired Persons -- has launched an
ad agency specifically to help brands promote their products to the over 50 crowd. The new agency is called Influent50
. Already the agency has a dozen plus
clients including Avis Budget and UnitedHealthcare.
It's been a long-held belief that once a person pushes 40 or 50, they become set in their ways and no longer have an interest in
changing their ways or purchasing new products. BoomAgers Founder Peter Hubbell says that’s a "misconception" and misguided thinking on the part of marketers.
The issue, of course,
is sort of a chicken-and-egg scenario. Marketers don't sell to older folks because there are few, if any, older folks working in agencies or brand-side marketing departments. And older folks aren't
perceived as hip, cool purchasers because there aren't any hip, cool ads out there competing with all the Millennial-focused crap.
In a study commissioned by Influent50 and conducted by
ORC International's Generational CARAVAN Omnibus, it was found that 82% of baby boomers (those aged 50-69) are open to new brands, 33% are willing to buy the latest and greatest version of a product
even if their current version is working just fine, 76% would consider trying a new brand that offered higher quality, 75% would pay a premium for quality and convenience. And yet, 40% think marketers
don't know what's important to them and 8 out of 10 say marketers are making mistakes when appealing to them.
Will this finally rid adland of Millennial obsession? Although I'd like to
believe so, it's doubtful. After all, conference speakers are already talking about the post-90's generation, GenZ and even the post-2010 generation which has been called Generation Alpha by author
and social researcher Mark McRindle.
And so you see, marketers are forever youth-obsessed and will always hold tight to the belief that the young rule the world. In part, that's been
fueled by a growing disrespect for older folks -- which began in the sixties -- and the belief among younger generations that older folks have nothing of significance to add to society despite the
fact that with age comes experience and wisdom