October 09, 2007

Stick a Knife in My Head

We’ve been ranting for quite some time about how advertisers are missing a huge opportunity by always targeting young people.

In short, people over 50 have 77% of the money and are the target for about 10% of all advertising (see "Aiming Low.") According to The New York Times it looks like some companies are starting to wake up

However, with their typical heavy hand, most marketers will blow their opportunity with this target by pandering to them instead of talking to them. They will make the same mistakes that they make with every other “generation” by holding up a mirror and saying, “This is you. See, we understand!”

Let’s clear this up right now. A person is not a generic symbol of his generation. He is an individual. In order to motivate him you need to provide a specific, differentiated benefit. All the sociological/cultural baloney you hear from your agency about “Gen Xers are this” or “Gen Y’s are that” or “Baby Boomers are this” are simply lazy clich├ęs that offer virtually nothing that is useful in advertising strategy.

Nonetheless, TAC predicts even more of that brainless, atrocious “Ameriprise”-style advertising that makes me want to stick a knife in my head.


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