Senior Spotlight: What Marketers Get ALL Wrong

Are you ready to hear a bizarre truth: Individuals over age 50 represent 70% of consumer spending, yet they are only 20% of the generations depicted in media and commercials. Worse yet, aging adults are rarely accurately represented, an important topic brought to light in a recent article titled ‘How Ads Do a Terrible Job Portraying Older Adults’ on Next Avenue.

The article cites just a few among countless examples of how the media inaccurately portrays older adults – absent minded, careless, financially irresponsible and not valued at all. Lori Bitter, author of ‘The Grandparent Economy: How Baby Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap’ states that, sadly, ““The one thing I hear all the time from older people is they don’t see themselves in anything that’s being advertised on television.”

But, why?

The Next Avenue article explains that America’s obsession with youth was ‘ironically formulated and solidified when boomers were young’ and for that reason ‘most marketers direct much of their attention to millennials and Gen Zers.’ And since most marketers are well under 50 themselves, the ageism depicted in marketing is rooted more in ignorance, inexperience and insensitivity than overt bias and prejudice. But it still needs to stop.

What could help…?

In short, marketing teams could benefit from individuals of more diverse ages, lifestyles, backgrounds and experiences. In addition, increased research and insights into what retirees authentically want and need could change the way older adults are not only marketed to, but supported accordingly.

We would LOVE to hear what brands and products are most helpful to you or anyone you know who is over 50. What brands make you feel valued, respected and wanting to invest in them because they have invested in YOU?

We encourage you to read ‘How Ads Do a Terrible Job Portraying Older Adults’ in full on Next Avenue. It changed how we see commercials and we think it may do the same for you!

All my best,
Bobbi & Team

Bobbi Decker
Broker Associate
650.346.5352 cell
650.577.3127 efax
NAR Instructor….“Designations Create Distinctions”

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