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Why you should brief 58-to-69-year-olds in your next campaign

Technology & Data

Why you should brief 58-to-69-year-olds in your next campaign


Rebecca Wilson argues for more attention from marketers for the older generation. 

In the TV-centric world of media, the brief for the 25-to-54-year-old is quite frankly missing the wealthiest generation in history – the 58-to-69-year-old. Will media buyers and brand managers step up to the gap in the next cycle and consider how their brand hits the Baby Boomer?

Picture one of the 60-year-olds in your life.  It might be your mum, your cousin, your friend even.  Think about the life they are living. It’s pretty good for most of them.  They’re fit, healthy, financially secure perhaps.

I don’t want you to wash any other preconceived notion or marketing pitch into this thought… use the people you know as the evidence you need to see.

Does the person have different aspirations to when they were 50 or 55?

Does this person dress differently to when they were 50 or 55?

Do they live in a different home to when they were 50 or 55?

Do they look after their health more than when they were 50 or 55? Or perhaps have they been through a major shift in health oriented behavior either triggered by a scare or the desire to live longer?

Do they travel more often than when they were 50 or 55?

Are they hungry to consume life more than when they were 50 or 55?

I’ll bet every single one of you can answer YES to at least four of the six above questions.

My parents, all of whom are very different, went through a transformational phase in their 60s (not their 50s).  They gave up full time work, transferring to part time or winding back into a different pattern.  They moved house to the house they dreamed of during the post-children years, which they could never have contemplated having time to enjoy until they did give up work.  They started travelling more and more and more. And they started caring enormousy for their health, losing weight, taking supplements and being more proactive.

Are yours the same?

Now ask yourself these questions: What changed?

Are they working the same hours and structure they were at 50 to 55?

Are they hanging around with the same social networks that they were at 50 to 55?

Are they reading and talking about the same things that they were when they were 50-55?

And I’ll bet the answer to many of these above things is NO… because none of us are in any generation.  So much has changed in the world in the last 10 years, so why on earth haven’t we noticed that 60-year-olds have too.

Chances are this once devout newspaper reading, TV watching audience now wakes up to their phone beside the bed, their iPad on the bench over breakfast and consumes Facebook and free media as their first choice.  Their TV habits, dare I say it, aren’t what they used to be with on-demand TV creeping in through the terrific education ABC’s iView is giving them.

On a roadshow through some of Australia’s largest media agencies last week, many media people talked about the fact that they still largely receive campaign briefs suitable for 25-to-54-year-olds.  That is, they seek out a standard, TV viewing, Australian to sell to with their brand imagery and messages to.  But it was apparent to all that a change is coming.  The wealthiest and most cash-rich generation in history is over 54 right now. Are your briefs missing them? Maybe the over-60 was never an appealing market before… but they never had this much money, this much time and this much aspiration before, did they?

Turning 60 today is like having a baby to the younger generation, everything changes in your life in a very short period of time. You change your expectations on life and often with them you change your house, car, lifestyle, routine, leisure, service providers and travel activities.

And you only need to look at what people spend when they have a baby to put the scale of this major lifestyle shift in perspective. Having a baby furnishes one room of your home. Retiring and seeking out your best life sees many people refurbish everything.

I’m waiting for the day when 58-to-69-year-old briefs are prolific and they are full of rather mainstream product categories.  I suspect that day is coming soon to an agency near all of us.  Let’s wait and see.


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the managing director of Stretch Marketing, and the founder and publisher of Startsat60.com, Australia’s largest online community and media site for baby boomers. Rebecca guest speaks regularly on marketing to Baby Boomers and leading content marketing techniques all over Australia.  Tweet Rebecca on @wilsonbec.

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