Gen Xers Are Depressed, Under Pressure

Leo Burnett is issuing a call-to-arms for "braver marketing approaches" to those ages 35-55 who "did more to build the cult of brands than any other generation before them."

Today's Generation Xers are "Generation Stretched" according to the agency's new report that finds this group  under extreme pressure from family responsibility – caring simultaneously for pre- and school-age children as well as aging parents.

Awwwwww. Cry me a river Xers. You’re not the first generation to be under that pressure and you won’t be the last. My advice—suck it up and be grateful. It’s Thanksgiving week. You could have worse problems.

While the agency specifically examines British adults, the findings have relevance beyond geographic borders. For instance, the agency recommends brands would be well-advised to inject humor to boost this group's spirits. Because, you know, there under such pressure.

Gen Xers are least likely to be happy with 82% saying they are very or fairly happy compared with 87% of Baby Boomers (the happiest group).



Generation Xers are indeed gloomy. When asked which generation has been the luckiest, only 27% of Generation X-ers think they have been the luckiest compared with 59% of Baby Boomers who think they have been so. When asked if they expect to be much or a bit happier in the future, 58% of Generation Xers expect to be so compared with 76% of Millennials.

Leo Burnett outlines six areas with the greatest opportunities for advertisers as finance, mental health, the pressures of cross-generational co-habitation, understanding of tech and digital habits, emotional intelligence and new ways to work and earn.

To that end, 63% of Gen Xers expect to be less comfortable financially compared with 36% of Millennials and 62% of Baby Boomers and 26% of  Xers expect to be less secure in their career compared with 18% of Millennials and 4% of Baby Boomers. In addition, 48% are confident they will have a comfortable retirement compared with 51% of Millennials and 64% of Baby Boomers.

At least Gen Xers aren't always the most pessimistic among all demographics. They are truly the sandwich generation when it comes to their health with 56% saying they will be less healthy in the future compared with 23% of Millennials and 73% of Baby Boomers. Yeah, these stats make sense. I mean take the boomers. Of course they’ll be less healthy in the future. In 20 years they’ll mostly be dead or drooling on themselves in some nursing home. Millennials are still young enough to think they’re immortal. So enjoy that sandwich while it lasts, Xers. Life comes at you fast!

Leo Burnett recommends brands highlight their abilities–through new products, services and other innovations-- to help Gen X-ers meet these challenges that worry them so.



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