Oldies, But Goodies

Hollywood is embracing the 50-plus crowd, and marketers need to take note, writes Patricia Lippe Davis, VP of marketing for AARP Media Sales. Everyone’s talking about the retro trend in television as iconic shows from the ’80s and ’90s are getting 2018 reboots, says the report.

The latest example is Roseanne, the sitcom that was lauded during its original run for its realistic portrayal of a middle-class American family. The show returns to ABC complete with its full original cast including Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, who are both 65 now.

There’s a clear reason why the major networks are all bringing back successful shows from the past, each of which still has a surprising degree of relevance in 2018; and why marketers are betting on retro programming, says the report. These beloved shows are a surefire way to connect with the 50-plus demographic, which controls over 51% of all consumer spending. Considering that the U.S. 50-plus population spends $3.2 trillion annually, a sum that is greater than the GDP of nations such as Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, Brazil and France, it’s easy to see their appeal to Hollywood.

There are a number of reasons why 50-plus consumers are turning to the wide variety of reboots. First, they want to see themselves depicted on screen. From the small screen to the cinema, 50-plus audiences want to see characters who represent their age group. Hollywood has been creating more TV shows and films that feature 50-plus actors. In fact, three of the four winners for acting at the 2018 Oscars were over age 50: Frances McDormand, 60, Gary Oldman, 59, and Allison Janney, 58. The youngest acting award winner, Sam Rockwell, who will turn 50 in November.

These beloved shows are a surefire way to connect with the 50-plus demographic, which controls over 51 % of all consumer spending, says the report. And, more than half of workers 50–64 are still working. Murphy Brown broke ground and the show will return with its original star, now in her 70s. Reprising her role as a top journalist reflects the fact that this demographic is still a powerful force to be reckoned with in the workplace.

From McDormand’s depiction of a bereaved mother taking on the police, to Oldman’s representation of Winston Churchill serving as the U.K.’s prime minister during WWII at the age of 65, some of the biggest films show that this demographic is passionate about not taking on a backseat role in life just because they’ve passed their 50th birthdays.

In 2018, Hollywood has now fully embraced the 50-plus consumer and is creating content with this essential audience in mind. Smart marketers can take note and borrow Tinseltown’s script for how they can reach the powerful 50-plus demographic, concludes the report.



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