Study: TV Marketers Have Receptive Audience In 50+ Demo

Is there too great a focus on millennials and younger consumers by TV marketers? A new study says the consumer data for those 50 years and older is still strong.

A Video Advertising Bureau study points out that older U.S. adults are responsible for 40% of the top consumer spending categories -- spending $195.5 billion on vehicles (37%); $159.1 billion on restaurants and other food away from home (36%); and $110.2 billion on household furnishings (43%).

Traditionally, analysts have viewed older adults as being set in their ways when it comes to the brands they buy, making it harder for new marketers.

But the research also says 56 million U.S. consumers over 50 seek new products that are beneficial to them, compared to 44.8 million millennials. Nearly 80% of those “feel they are being ignored by advertisers.”



In addition, the study says, eight out of 10 of adults 50+ go to a variety of ad-supported TV-branded digital platforms -- sports, news, business news, food, home, weather, comedy and kids programming.

Research shows there are currently 114 million adults over 50 in the U.S., who spend $3.2 trillion+ in annual expenditures -- amounting for 41% of total U.S. consumer spending.

The VAB is an video advertising industry group whose members includes major TV network groups -- Disney/ABC Television Group, NBCUniversal, CBS, Turner, as well as pay TV companies ad divisions, Comcast Spotlight, Cox Media and  in-theater advertising sales groups  such as Screenvision Media andNational CineMedia.

As of September 2018, Nielsen says the median age for linear, live TV networks is 56; with video-on-demand TV at 45, connected TV 42 and digital media at 40.

4 comments about "Study: TV Marketers Have Receptive Audience In 50+ Demo".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 23, 2019 at 12:58 p.m.

    Of course advertisers should  consider older consumers as being of interest and concern---unless they never buy or use the brand's product. However, the typical rebutal to the "old is important" argument is that you have no problem reaching older adults via TV---indeed you get a surplus of them in most buys. So why worry? The real question, then, revolves around how a brand is positioned and the imagry or situations it depicts in its commercials. If all of the ads are young folks oriented then you risk putting off older consumers who may constitute a major share of your customer base.

  2. Leo Kivijarv from PQ Media, April 23, 2019 at 4:22 p.m.

    This research is not new. PQ Media prepared similar data for a major media conglemerate in 2015 when it was promoting Alpha Boomers to brands and agencies.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 23, 2019 at 5:10 p.m.

    Correct, Leo. Erwin Ephron and I made a similar presentation for a major TV network 30 almost 30 years ago.

  4. Danielle DeLauro from VAB, April 23, 2019 at 7:03 p.m.

    I would encourage you to read our report since one of the main takeaways is how this group feels underrepresented by advertisers....49% avoid brands who actively ignore their age group. We also point out that DTC brands are capitalizing on the value of adults 50+ with custom products and services.  Their data-driven, outcomes-obsessed founders could care less about age, they just care about revenue - regardless of the wallet it comes from. 

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