Poll Says Pitch Ads to Boomers

November 20, 2002

Poll Says Pitch Ads to Boomers

Baby boomers plan to spend 20-35% more than the average shopper this holiday season, according to a poll of 1,000 shoppers by America's Research Group, Charleston, SC, reported in the Wall Street Journal. "If you are going to sell in this down economy, you better make sure your ads are targeted to the right group," says C. Britt Beemer, chairman of ARG.

Some large companies are heeding Beemer's advice. Sony is wooing older shoppers with a $25 million ad campaign introduced this month aimed at persuading 50- to 64-year-olds to buy Sony gadgets this holiday season. A recent spot showed a man taking an imaginary space trip with his Sony Handycam. The spot ends with a line saying "When your kids ask where the money went, show them the tape."

Traditionally, 50- to 64-year-olds are a prime target for jewelry purchases. But a recent survey indicates jewelry may lose out to electronics. Digital electronic products, video games, CDs and movies – all Sony specialties – are predicted to have much stronger sales growth than jewelry by a survey of leading retail analysts done by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Microsoft is also aiming at older Americans with holiday ads, especially for Internet products. "Americans 50 and older are one of the fastest growing segments heading to the Internet," Sam Klepper, a Microsoft senior director of marketing, told WSJ.

To reach the boomers this year, beef up print and online outreach to this segment, and use your Web address in every initiative.

by Peggy Jo Donahue

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