Aspirational marketing to the ancients

I could not agree less with Tony Cole and Martin Smith (“Modern strategies needed for grey area”, MW August 17). Just because most commercials feature performers of working age, it’s a little harsh to accuse advertisers of ignoring the grey market. The fact is that most campaigns reach more of the old than they do of the young, because of television viewing habits.

And advertisers make commercials that appeal to their target markets. Which is why, for example, actors in car commercials are frequently younger than the products’ potential buyers. That’s not ageism, it’s smart targeting.

Many of the high-ticket objects of desire bought by older consumers represent the achievement of a lifetime’s ambition, and the culmination of a lifetime’s targeting by the brand concerned. So we aim at and below the typical consumer’s age group. That’s not ageism, its long-term strategic thinking.

It is precisely because agencies do understand the older consumer that many will avoid media and creative treatments that portray the over 50s as ancient.

David Porter (at least 40)

Director

MediaCom TMB

London NW1

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