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Remember our Generation Rebel campaign?
We at Parsley Box commissioned research to discover how those aged over 60 felt about advertising specifically targeted at them.
The research showed that just 10% of over 65s find adverts aimed at people their age appealing, with over half (55%) going as far as saying they are actually patronising.
Brands are consistently failing to understand the realities of the baby boomer+ lifestyle, with a majority feeling completely misrepresented. Only 6% of over 65s think advertising targeted at them is representative of either them or their lifestyle.
Baby boomer pluses are often typecast as the withering grey-haired brigade, sat in front of their two-bar fire, cosy slippers on, a blanket draped over their lap with the remote in one hand and a sherry in the other.
They’re largely depicted as one homogenous group of inactive people, set in their ways and fearful of technology.
Well we know this is not the reality.
Far from being ‘The Silent Generation’, baby boomers are the Rebel Generation.
We received a host of wonderful, passionate feedback from our customers regarding our research into this topic and we thought it too good not to share.
As Mary (self described as 40 in the head, 70 odd in other parts of the body) states:
“Who are these advertisers to decide what we’re interested in and what is suitable for us?!”
So inspired was Mary that she put pen to paper and wrote us a poem.
On the odd occasion watching afternoon TV I notice that the adverts are aimed at folks like me. There's a choice of life insurances - I don't want to do that, And planning a cremation; if I do, I'll eat my hat. There are chairs to help you get up and baths to help you sit, But I've just come back from an hour's walk and I'm feeling good and fit. Perhaps when I reach ninety-nine I might indeed decide To kick the bucket, pop my clogs or commit adverticide!
Another customer to contact us and share their opinions on the patronising representation of this age group in advertising media was Lynne.
“In March 2020 at the start of the first lockdown I objected strongly to the ludicrous labelling of all over 70’s as ‘frail and vulnerable’, expecting us to stay at home however healthy and fit we were.
“This week I turned 76. I swim and do aquacise 4 times a week, garden, volunteer in my Retirement Village Library and Reception, sit on the Residents’ Committee and a new Housing Ombudsman’s National Resident Panel and I am Deputy President of the Eastern Region Conservative Women’s Organisation.
“To further stimulate my ‘little grey cells’ I am currently taking a 7 week part time Zoom Creative Writing course in Life Writing with the University of Cambridge, with mature students from across the world and starting a short course on Oliver Cromwell. I also sing in Elstow Abbey church choir, so I am a fit and active Baby Boomer with far more energy than people half my age.”
Lynne is a wonderful example of the passion and vitality of the Baby Boomer+ generation. This demographic is certainly not one to sit cosy by the fire and let life pass them by.
Also joining the debate was lively yoga teacher, Karen. She says:
“The adverts that drive me to distraction are those regarding ‘Cremation’ and ‘Life Insurance Plans’, especially the ones where people of a certain age are passing the message on about ‘dying’.
“Whilst I agree that it is good to plan in advance, which I have, I don’t want to see Carol Vorderman, Debbie McGee and Alan Titchmarsh talking at me and making me depressed at the thought that I could cough my last at any given time!
“I am 61, I don’t dress or look like any of the people who are having a chat on the beach about not wanting to leave their family in a mess. I’d far rather see a skateboarding elderly person or any other activity you care to name. I’m sure there are some older people who do death defying activities. I wouldn’t know, I don’t see them on any adverts.“
We love this feisty, passionate feedback on our Generation Rebel campaign and want to see more of it. Have a read of the article here and let us know your thoughts below.