‘Young’ ads miss target market

George Pitcher’s article “Elderly with foresight will pay for myopic millions” (MW May 4) made some valuable points about marketing to consumers aged over 50. The fact that the population is getting older is not news, but research such as that conducted by Verdict, and recent Government action, have given this demographic trend much-needed publicity (not all of it welcomed by the mature consumers and voters themselves).

The over-50 sector commands 42 per cent of consumer spending, a figure that will increase to 50 per cent once the late baby boomers have moved through to this sector in the next few years. A simple calculation shows that this sector is (or should be) a prime target for marketers, yet it is almost universally ignored.

However, I suspect that the pressure to create campaigns that appeal to peers and award panels drives the need to create young lifestyle advertising. Why else would car marketers produce advertising that ignores the biggest private car buying market, and the private medical and financial services target young adults?

Until most marketers can tear themselves away from generation X and Y campaigns, advertising with fast edits, supermodels and lad humour, the less fashionable (but more switched on) advertisers and marketers will follow the simple rules of pursuing the best prospects for their products and services, and will continue to reap large rewards.

Martin Smith

Managing director

Millennium Direct


West Yorkshire

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