Yesterday I posted this on the Type A Group website and it got a great response. In case you missed it, I thought I'd publish it here today.
One of these days your phone is going to ring. Your boss is going to want to see you in his office. He will say, "What is the biggest opportunity for growth we are currently missing?"
You are going to mumble and fumble. He'll say, "It's people over 50 you f***ing dimwit. They account for almost 50% of all consumer spending. They control 75% of the financial assets of the country. They account for 55% of all CPG purchases. They buy over 60% of all new cars. And we are not spending a f***ing dime to talk to them."
Then you will give him all the pathetic excuses for being a calcified bozo that marketing people always come up with and he will fire your ass and have you escorted out of the building with all your crap in a cardboard box, and you will never work again.
Don't let this happen to you!
Marketers who are awake and responsive are starting to understand that there is enormous upside in talking to people over 50. But there are also pitfalls.
The best thing you can do is hire Type A to help you develop a sensible 50+ initiative for your brand. The next best thing you can do is avoid these 10 mistakes:
1. Do not hold up a mirror. Don't try to show them who they are or tell them what they believe. They don't appreciate being treated like advertising clichés.Now get your 50+ strategy going before that phone call comes.
2. They are not grandma and grandpa. They are Barack Obama and Jerry Seinfeld and Meryl Streep and Condoleezza Rice and Bruce Springsteen. Your idiot copywriters have no clue how to talk to them.
3. Don't be afraid to be naughty. These people grew up smoking weed and listening to the Rolling Stones. Don't be so serious. Make fun of young people. Make them feel hipper than young people. And speaking of young people...
4. They do not want to be like young people. Don't listen to the morons who tell you "old people aspire to be like young people." This nonsense is 20 years out of date. Do you really think Michelle Obama wants to be like Miley Cyrus? Do you really think Steven Spielberg wants to be like Justin Bieber? These people want to be youthful, but they do not want to be like young people. This is a distinction that is totally lost on the geniuses in the advertising industry.
5. They are not down-sizing. In 2010 people over 45 outspent people under 45. By one trillion dollars.
6. They are not "stuck in their ways" and unchangeable. They are just as likely to change brands as people under 50.
7. They are not just the spill from your 18-49 media plan. You need to speak to them directly and differently. This is not simply about media choices. It's also about message.
8. They are not a collection of maladies. Don't talk to them like they're a bundle of afflictions needing remediation. They are not. They are mostly healthy, wealthy and wise. They want to have fun, not medicine.
9. Avoid casting clichés. Please -- no more grandpa and Timmy going fishing. No more silver foxes making out in the elevator. No more goofy grandmas.
10. "They don't matter in my category." Bullshit. They matter in every category. Whether you're selling dog food or donuts, they matter. They spend half the money in this country. Hello?