Tired of that old ‘young’ chestnut

So, TalkSport is now running a trade ad in Marketing Week in which it ridicules Classic FM for having a listenership of whom 78 per cent are aged 50 and over. Kelvin McKenzie’s station highlights the proud boast that it has captured the young male audience.

But surely Classic FM should be delighted at having an audience of rich, high-spending consumers. Do advertisers want to target poor young males or the wealthy mature?

Despite the obvious response, I do have an uneasy feeling that too many companies will still fall for TalkSport’s tactic. Targeting the mature sector has never been a passion of marketers and when they do try they are often found wanting because they do not understand the sector’s buying triggers.

This, of course, is why we see so much car advertising that completely confuses two-thirds of new car buyers. The same reasoning lies behind the advertising for a wide variety of other products, and the clumsy use of older icons to sell holidays, financial services and packaged goods only serves to anger mature consumers.

Marketers are raised on a diet of “generation X” campaigns, but it is time that it became an ex-generation in terms of targeting. The over-50s market is the only growing demographic, with a spending power that dwarfs all others.

Reg Starkey

Creative director


London WC2

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