Presentation on theme: "Marketing and the older adult ICAAs Changing Way the Way We Age Campaign www.changingthewayweage.com."— Presentation transcript:
Marketing and the older adult ICAAs Changing Way the Way We Age Campaign
Today we are going to examine: Why most companies achieve poor results with the older adult market. How an organization can turn this into a tremendous opportunity.
Why do most companies achieve poor results with the older market? You can learn from their mistakes!
You have to be in the game to win it 95% of advertising revenue goes to the under-35 age group. Advertisers are NOT in the game. Source: Pickett, J. (2002). Marketing and Advertising to Older People. London: Help the Aged Jane Fonda is back in the game An example of who is in the game
Example: In Germany Only 4.5% of the characters in 656 ads were 60 years or older. German marketers are not in the game. Source: J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci Jan;65B(1): Epub 2009 Nov 23
Example: In May 2011, MSNBC reported on a US study showing the disconnect between fashion magazines and their aging readers. An analysis of editorial and advertising images reveals that despite proportions of older readers ranging as high as 23%, fashion magazines portray women over 40 sparingly, if at all. US marketers are not in the game. Source: Journal of Aging Studies, April 2011
Even in magazines geared toward aging Baby Boomers, images collectively present a thin, youthful, wrinkle-free ideal thats impossible to maintain later in life. Source: Journal of Aging Studies, April 2011
Summary Companies fail to achieve results with the older adult market because they are not in the game. This is a major reason why older adults dont buy. They dont see older adults in product ads. And, when they do….
How are older adults portrayed when they do appear in the media?
R esearcher Julia Rozanova found that negative portrayals of older adults in Canada (such as the one above) and Russia far outweighed positive portrayals. ICAA learned that a Facebook page, End "geezerade" Campaign Now, was launched in protest to this ad. Source: Rozanova, J. (2010). Discourse of successful aging in The Globe & Mail: Insights from critical gerontology. Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 213–222
News, television, film and advertising commonly feature stereotypes that show older adults through a lens of decline and diminished value, emphasizing the burdens of growing old. Source: Dahmen, N, & Cozm, R, International Longevity Center, Media Takes: On Ageing, 2009 Apocalyptic times
This stereotypic view of aging creates: Low expectations of aging that extend into all areas of life, including the workplace and healthcare Sources : Langer, E. J. (2009) Counter Clockwise: Mindful health and the power of possibility, Ballantine Books, New York; Fry, Prem S., Keyes, Corey L.M., (2010) New Frontiers in Resilient Aging: Life strengths and well-being in late life. Cambridge University Press, UK ; Lachs, M., MD (2010). Treat Me, Not my Age: A doctors guide to getting the best care as you or a loved one gets older. Viking: Penguin Group, New York, NY; Jonson, H., & Larsson, A. (2009). The exclusion of older people in disability activism and policies: A case of inadvertent ageism? Journal of Aging Studies, 23(1), 69–77 ;
The impact: Older people can literally think themselves into the grave 7.6 years early by feeling bad about getting old. Source: Levy, B., Slade, M., Kunkel, S. & Kasl, S.(2002). Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(2), 261–270.
Another view of aging: When aging IS depicted in a manner that appears positive, the aim is often to push anti-aging messages and frame defying aging as the only example of successful aging.
This view of aging promotes the idea that age-related changes in physical appearance are highly undesirable; therefore, all means should be taken to erase them. Source: Lewis, D. C., Medvedev, K., Seponski, D. M. (2011). Awakening to the desires of older women: Deconstructing ageism within fashion magazines. Journal of Aging Studies, 25(2), April 2011, Pg Anti-aging
"Despite claims about pills or treatments that lead to endless youth, no treatments have been proven to slow or reverse the aging process." Source: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Aging
Graywashing Companies that produce/sell/market anti-aging products are graywashing. This term, coined by ICAA CEO Colin Milner, refers to the act of misleading consumers regarding any purported age-associated benefits of a product or service.
Yet another view of aging: Super Senior--This person must be healthy, wealthy and defying aging--a distorted reality
Such stereotypes suggest that good old age requires health, independence, and economic and social vitality--reflecting the dominance of independence, youthfulness, effectiveness and productivity as values in Western societies Source: Rozanova, J. (2010). Discourse of successful aging in The Globe & Mail: Insights from critical gerontology. Journal of Aging Studies, 24, 213–222
Bad old age, by contrast, is characterized by illness, decline, and a strain on social programs and economies around the world
The truth is, individuals do not have to: …look a certain way …participate in extreme sports …or be free of functional challenges to be: …engaged in life …resilient …and capable of setting an example of well-being.
What you can do: Help older adults become more visible in the mass media Avoid ALL stereotypes, such as… …Being a burden …Anti-aging …Super Senior
Instead: Be real Present a balanced, realistic view of aging-- reflecting the challenges of getting older, while embracing the opportunities associated with aging.
What does the older consumer think about how media and marketers portray them?
Older adults notice: How infrequently they are portrayed in media and marketing How these portrayals, when they happen, miss the mark The result: 75% of adults over 55 feel dissatisfied with marketing aimed at them 71% say that advertising images largely do not reflect their lives. Sources: Center for Mature Consumer Studies, 2002; Pickett, J. (2002). Marketing and Advertising to Older People. London: Help the Aged.
In addition, nearly two-thirds of Boomers responding to a TV Land survey said they are growing increasingly dissatisfied with media that ignores them and they are tuning out. Source: TV Lands New Generation Gap Study,
Whats more: 46% often dont feel that advertising/marketing is aimed at them at all 50% find advertising/marketing that is obviously targeting older people to be patronizing and stereotypical
Other research reveals: 75% of respondents to a survey of people ages 50+ thought that the media ignored the views of their age group. Age Friendly survey, ICM Research, March ICM interviewed a random sample of 1035 people aged 50+ by telephone between 25th March and 3rd April Surveys were conducted across the UK and the results were weighted to the profile of all adults 50+. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at
The bottom line: Your potential customers are telling you that marketers, including your competition, are doing a poor job. To gain their business, your marketing efforts need to: Show how you can meet their needs Reflect their lifestyle Make them feel you are speaking to them Not be stereotypical or patronizing Show you have listened to them Show youre actually interested in gaining their business and that it is not an afterthought.
If you want an older persons business, be aware….
What is getting in the way of marketers achieving success with the older adult? Ageism! Dr. Robert Butler first introduced this term to the world in Source: Dahmen, N, & Cozm, R, International Longevity Center, Media Takes: On Ageing, 2009
Historically, as the number and percentage of older persons, especially the frail and demented, increased, the perception grew that they were burdens to their families and society. This perception became widespread as societies shifted from agrarian economies to industrialized economies. Source: Anti-Ageism Task Force, International Longevity Center, Ageism in America, 2006
Also contributing to ageism: Deeply held human concerns and fears about the vulnerability inherent in the later years of life... can translate into contempt and neglect. Source: Anti-Ageism Task Force, International Longevity Center, Ageism in America, 2006
The International Longevity Centers report documents four types of ageism: Personal ageism: Ideas, attitudes, beliefs and practices on the part of individuals that are biased against persons or groups based on their age. How is this impacting your business?
Institutional ageism: Missions, rules, and practices that discriminate against individuals and/or groups because of their older age. How is this impacting your business?
Intentional ageism: Ideas, attitudes, rules, or practices that are carried out with the knowledge that they are biased against persons or groups based on their older age. This category includes practices that take advantage of the vulnerabilities of older persons. How is this impacting your business?
Unintentional (or inadvertent) ageism: Ideas, attitudes, rules, or practices that are carried out without the perpetrators awareness that they are biased against persons or groups based on their older age. How is this impacting your business?
All four types of ageism can be found in the media and marketing today. What can be done to counter ageism's impact?
Dove challenged ageism through its award-winning Campaign for Real Beauty. One advertisement and billboard featured a 95-year- old model and posed the question: Withered or Wonderful? Will society ever accept old can be beautiful?
This ad proved to be a tremendous success, largely by tapping into societys negative expectations of aging and making people re-think them. Results: Dove claimed a 700% rise in product sales in the United Kingdom and 600% in the United States within the first two months of the campaigns launch. Source: Brodbeck, M., & Evans, E. Campaign for Real Beauty Case Study, (2007, March 21), Public Relations Problems and Cases Blog, Pennsylvania State University,
Counter ageism in your organization and marketing by doing the following: Learn from the past Assess the types of ageism in your organization and within yourself Challenge ageist beliefs. Become an advocate for the older adult (Think Dove) Be open to the opportunities
How can you turn what we have discussed into a growth opportunity for your company?
Boomers are just as likely as young adults to be open to buying new products and services (71%/71%) and to be influenced by effective advertising (55%/55%). Source: TV Lands New Generation Gap Study, Understand the market
Doves Campaign for Real Beauty confounded stereotypes of beauty and reaped the rewards. Similarly, a vast market of potential customers awaits media, marketers and businesses whose portrayals of aging resonate with older consumers. However, currently, marketing messages are currently both missing and missing the mark. 2. Create effective advertising. This can be done after you understand the market.
Missing: effective marketing messages The cost of ineffective advertising and marketing messages is immense, from agency fees to creative to ad placement. Action: Get to know your older customers capabilities, needs, dreams and desires, then give them what they want in a non-stereotypical, non-patronizing way.
3. Be active and in the game. An example of lost opportunities in the consumer packaged goods sector alone: Roughly $230 billion in Boomer sales of consumer packaged goods, or around 55% of the overall sales in the United States. Source: Nielsen and the Hallmark Channel study in December 2008
4. Become an advocate for the 100 million people who can potentially buy your products or services. Nielsen: Boomers "dominate" 1,023 out of 1,083 categories of packaged goods. And, they have $2.3 trillion dollars to spend.
Sounds like opportunities? What will you do with them?