A long time ago I used to do a lot of research for a major drinks company. Their policy then was not to research anyone over 50. The belief, probably justified at the time, was that anyone that age had long ago decided what their favourite tipple was and was unlikely to change.
Things change. The over 50s are now the focus of much marketing and market research activity. It’s not just a matter of there being a lot of them – 21% of the population are between 50 and 69; in the UK it is even higher at 29%. They tend to have a higher disposable income and greater proportion of country’s wealth – in the UK it has been calculated that they hold over 80% of the wealth.
The over 50s are thus a very desirable target audience for many brands. But it is an age cohort that is rejecting the patterns laid down for them by previous generations. They are disinclined to act their age and they are more open to new experiences – travel, taking up new hobbies and, in increasing numbers, new relationships, than their parents were. A recent study by JWT put a name on them – 'The Elastic Generation'.
They are smashing notions of how one should live past fifty and sixty. The trajectory of their lives is now sinuous, looping, filled with energy and stretching beyond imagination. It’s elastic.
One of the features of The Elastic Generation is the distance between how they see themselves and how they believe others see them. For them, their age is just a number which will not prevent them doing what they want to do. Others, they feel, define them exclusively by their age and pigeonhole and sideline them accordingly.
This ageism, which they see reflected in the wider culture, is inevitably reflected in a lot of marketing communications. 'Empty Nester' has long been a convenient label for this age group and a descriptor of the assumed target audience, but in many cases it does not do justice to the complexity of their lives and this is resented by the over 50s. Brands that resort to stereotypes in their communications will not prosper but brands that understand the real complexity of the over 50s will.
Paddy Barry is Planning Director
RT : The Rolling Bones. 325 km finished. The bones have stopped rolling. Thanks for everyone's support and donations. …
The success of our work for & their one born every minute sponsorship is getting noticed on
New wheels for the ... Roads have never been safer!
RT : Delighted to have worked with + for the Campaign …
We're doing the Workplace Fitness Challenge - starting with a sunny walk around the Liberties at l…
Excited for this one. Cognitive Solutions with from . Looking at how such a broad field can be applied to marketing
Examples of Google testing real time voice ads in . Interesting to see the future of search intent!
ABCDs of online video - Attract Attention Brand Naturally w/ Purpose Connect w/ Emotion and Storytelling Direct The Viewer
Great online video insights from from Google. "Stop interrupting and start being what people are actually interested in"
Unbelievable night for our clients at Congrats one & all
Get in!!!!!! win the best integrated campaign at Over the 🌙
Huge congrats to for winning the best Brand Campaign award at
Congrats to for taking home the best in eCommerce at . Great team. Well deserved
RT : The winner of the Loyalty Marketing Award is...
Great night so far at . Fingers crossed for !
One of our planners, Colette, took a trip to and brought back lots of quality info. We'll share real…
Congrats to our housemates on their win(s) at the inaugural !!
We're very happy to have received 3 nominations for our work on …
RT : We this image made by using an image from with Wexford imagery - a beautiful synergy! …
RT : Lovely work from in
RT : One of our most popular ads already, welcome to in the 70s!
RT : Something a little different for this time. Well done Gav & Leo :)
RT : Congratulations to and on winning the Craft Award for Copywriting.
And our third of the night is a bronze for EuroMillions with in the Best Art Direction category!
And it's a silver next for ourselves & for best FMCG/Retail for Money Multiplier !
First award of the night, is a bronze for Money Multiplier in best digital marketing campaign!…
Direct from SXSW 2017 this am with in the Poetry Society
Our new stings for sponsoring One Born Every Minute UK, directed by John Hardwick launch toni…
Amazing shoot and production experience with John Hardwick &
RT : Congrats on being shortlisted for your campaigns 👍👏👏
Delighted with our nominations for for . Now for cake!
Beautiful sunset in last night 🎬
You're all your baby needs with love from & all of us 💕💕💕
A short letter from our partners in honour of yesterday. Have a read :)
RT : Our study shows an increase in awareness…
Congrats to all shortlisted for 🏆
RT : Congratulations & on winning Best Creative for Money Multiplier at …
Ready to go here launch. Class setup
Did u see Shane Griffin ? Bet you didn't realise all the behind the scene on this ad!
Day two 🖌
RT : did it aga…
RT : Final round! The Best Creative winner is & for Money Multiplier …
Silver for best in retail and consumer goods 🏆🙏🏼✌🏻️
Bronze for best app/best use of mobile
Outdoor Retailer buck the trend on Black Friday, closing their doors and asking people to …
A great pop at Trump from Mexican microbew . Hiding in plain sight
RT : Thank you to the great and attentive audience. All the best to Dublin. Hope to see you soon!
RT : . is the winner of Best Rated - Large Format, congrats! Creative: Media: …
For the week thats in it presented this simple and fun use of Snapchat by Gatorade around the SuperBowl…