I recently read an interesting article having to do with marketing to MLCers.
- After 40 years of catering to younger consumers, advertisers and media executives are coming to a different realization: older people aren’t so bad, after all.
- Marketers like Kellogg’s, Skechers and 5-Hour Energy drink are broadening their focus to those 55 and up, who were largely ignored in most of their media plans until recently.
- Network executives are planning to introduce shows created to have broad appeal, including to older viewers, and the ad dollars they represent.
- As a result of the recent recession, unemployment rates for younger age groups have been far higher than those for older Americans. The most recent unemployment rate for those 20 to 24 years old is 14.2 percent; for those 25 to 34, it is 9.4 percent. The rate for people aged 55 to 64 is only 6.2 percent.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those people aged 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings of any age segment in the United States: $844 and $860, respectively. Meanwhile, those 20 to 24 had weekly earnings of only $454. Those who are 25 to 34 earned $682.
- In some ways, they are the ideal consumer. They have money, they consume loads of media, and they remain optimistic.
- For decades, television has been the most determined proselytizer on behalf of the premium value of reaching consumers aged 18 to 49. In the 1960s, ABC found itself hopelessly uncompetitive with CBS and NBC in what was then the standard ratings measurement, total households. So the network adopted a strategy to appeal to younger viewers with programs like “Batman,” “Shindig,” and “Mod Squad.”
- The idea caught on, and even as the boomer generation grew older, advertisers continued to court younger viewers — first on the theory that they had not yet established brand loyalty, then because they were harder to reach than mature viewers who watched far more television.
- Since then, all advertising sales have been based on two main groups, those people aged 18 to 49, and those 25 to 54. Once viewers reached 55, they were considered all but valueless.
- For companies to avoid shifting advertising and marketing attention toward older Americans is a big mistake. You risk not only growth, but at some point you risk your brand.
- NBC’s study of those people 55 to 64 showed that they spent more than the average consumer on categories like home improvement, large appliances, casual dining and cosmetics.
- They have also become heavy spenders on electronics and digital devices. The study also showed that members of the 55-to-64 age group were just as likely as those ages 18 to 34 to have high-definition televisions, digital video recorders and broadband service.
- They don’t buy everything. They don’t play video games. But iPods? Yeah. iPads? Absolutely.
- The median age for audiences for every broadcast network has moved upward since 2006. NBC has moved to 50.1, from 48.5; ABC increased to 52.3, from 47.4. Fox, always the youngest network, aged to 45.4, from 41.5. CBS began at 53 and is now at a median age of 56.
- 35 to 64 is becoming a relatively common target now.
Okay – so companies would like to target the Baby Boomers. But first, the networks have to show programs that appeal to us MLCers, right?
The 70’s Show? Nope. Yeah, I like the fashions – but not the content.
The Wonder Years? Yes, that’s what I’m talking about. The settings. The events of that time. The innocence of youth. The respect for our elders. I loved that show.
How about reruns? Leave It To Beaver? Nah, a little too old for me.
The Brady Bunch? Yes! As corny as it was – it was still a wholesome show.
What kind of TV shows would appeal to you – the Baby Boomer? Or what reruns would you like to see come back to TV? And are there any commercials that you can relate to as a MLCer? For example, here’s one that has MLC all over it: