Are marketers ignoring female Baby Boomers?
At least in the U.K., graying Baby Boomer women feel largely ignored by advertisers with brands only wanting to talk to them about “the end of life and physical decline: stair lifts, funeral plans and hearing aids,” according to a study from JWT London Innovation Group.
A comprehensive survey of 248 women aged 53-72 in the U.K as part of the study found 72 percent pay no heed to advertising. Ninety-one percent said they wish advertisers would treat their generation as a person, not a stereotype.
The “Elastic Generation: The Female Edit” is a follow-up of JWT’s 2015 “Elastic Generation” report that focused on a changing marketing opportunity reaching those in their fifties and sixties who were living longer, more financially secure and more adventurous and ambitious than past older generations.
The new survey of women Boomers found:
- Two-thirds are enjoying life more than ever;
- Sixty-eight percent say they are more outspoken than they used to be;
- Eight out of ten care less now what others think of them than they did in their younger years;
- Fifty-seven percent are making more effort to do the things they always dreamed of doing.
The research showed that over fifties outspent their younger counterparts for the first time in 2015, yet 67 percent the women respondents said they believe advertisers only care about young people. Exploring some categories, 69 percent thought the fashion industry ignores people their age and 64 percent hate the way their generation is patronized when it comes to technology.
“Our collective understanding of what later life looks like remains woefully outdated,” wrote Marie Stafford, European director, The Innovation Group J. Walter Thompson, in the report. “Age no longer dictates the way we live. Physical capacity, financial circumstances and mindset arguably have far greater influence. And there’s no fixed pattern for how any of us grows older.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are stereotypes about aging negatively affecting the ability of marketers to connect with older female consumers? Is there a way for marketers to better balance their efforts to reach people across generational distinctions?