Are advertising agencies about to suffer a midlife crisis?
If television and magazine ads are any indication, only twenty-somethings
are drinking soda, buying cars and wearing khakis. Because the advertising
industry itself is populated largely with talents who reach their creative
peak at age 25, according to an article in Creativity magazine, it
sees the 12-24 age range ("with an occasional stretch to 30")
as the most desirable demographic segment. Even products aimed at older
consumers with the real money are promoted using flawless young models and
So what about Baby Boomers, the current driving force behind healthy
retail sales? As this populated category of consumer moves into its 50s,
it's "about to fall off the radar screen" of ad agencies, the
article says. Recently, in fact, a United Nations panel studying the aging
population petitioned the advertising industry to help redefine the concept
of "old" as part of a strategy to include Baby Boomers in more
of society's opportunities.
Researchers eventually will realize they can't ignore middle-age and
older consumers and their dollars, suggests the magazine. Age will become
less of an issue than lifestyle the things that Boomers enjoyed in
their 30s and 40s will grow more pleasurable as they're able to afford them
in larger quantities. As this becomes more true, ad agencies will have to
adjust their campaigns and maybe their staffs to communicate
with their target audience, says the article.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.