September 19, 2013
Where Do The Myths Come From?
The advertising and marketing industries have some very ingrained and persistent myths.
Having been in the industry for 40 years, I've heard some of these myths but I've never seen data to support them or found out where they come from.
One of the common and pervasive legends is that older people want to be like young people. The result of this is advertising that is obsessed with showing us the insipid activities of 22 year-olds in spite of the fact that people over 50 are responsible for almost half of consumer spending.
As far as I can tell, older people certainly want to be youthful. But they have no interest at all in being like young people. This is a distinction that is apparently lost on the advertising industry.
As someone over 50, I think I have a pretty good idea of how my friends and I look at ourselves and what we aspire to.
Yes, we want to remain youthful. But we have our own idea of what "youthful" means and it has nothing at all to do with the lamentable geeks and bozos we see portrayed in automobile ads, beer ads, food ads, and advertising in general. In fact, we think of these people as either pathetic or ridiculous.
The truth is, the advertising industry has been using the "older people want to be like young people" crutch for years because they are too lazy and too preoccupied with themselves and their friends to find out what older consumers are really about.
"Old people want to be like young people" is just the narcissistic excuse that lazy, young people who dominate advertising use to justify their ignorance and indifference about the people who Nielsen calls, "the most valuable consumers in the history of marketing."
Here's an insight to the self-absorbed people of the advertising and marketing industries about 50+ year olds...
They want to be youthful. But they don't want to be like you.
I'm speaking this evening in Portland. Here's the info.