Monday, April 20, 2009

HELLO, Advertisers -- Boomers have bucks

At right, a Target billboard in Times Square featuring (gasp!) a woman with gray hair.

As a Boomer, I am puzzled as to how so many of the TV shows I watch are sprinkled with ads aimed at 18-24-year-old males. Ads featuring sexpots taking huge juicy bites out of huge juicy burgers while hiking up their skirts tantalizingly, so you can *almost* see their panties, or lack thereof. Car ads featuring 18-24s bombing around in the desert, screaming with excitement, or bounding free-spiritedly up a mountain. Hey, that's not me. Even when I was 18-24.

For a long time, I attributed this psychographic and demographic disconnect to the fact that most ad agency creatives are in their 20s. So how can they possibly speak my language? Actually, they can't. And sometimes, when they try, poor babies, they end up perpetuating insulting stereotypes about "old" (over 40) people. The only commercials aimed at my generation seem to be for denture paste, laxatives and blood pressure medicine. Yuck. But my theory doesn't hold much water: young creatives must sell their ideas to presumably more mature people on the client side. How have so many advertisers drunk the "youthful focus" Kool-Aid (or Vitamin Water)?

Now, at last, some advertisers are recognizing who has the bucks: Boomers. Especially in a lousy economy like this one. Target, for one, has started featuring Boomers in their ads. Say, before long, we might be treated as the age we feel we are. Like, 35.

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