Older consumers feel disenfranchised by many TV ads and prefer
straight-talking, realistic creative treatments according to research
from Carat Insight.
Topping the hate list for the over-55s are ads which are blatantly about
selling a product for profit, rather than about building long-term
relationships with consumers.
Advertising which portrays real-life situations, such as the Oxo family
ad campaigns by J. Walter Thompson or BT’s ’it’s good to talk’ ads by
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, get the thumbs up among grey consumers.
The research - which included quantitative studies among 1,800 adults
and qualitative research with eight focus groups - found that older
people are more likely to rely on recommendations from family and
friends or third-party endorsements than advertising.
When asked to identify what makes a good ad, 17 per cent of respondents
plumped for ’clever’ ads, 16 per cent appreciated ads with lots of
information and just 1 per cent plumped for sexiness. Famous people,
children and animals were also eschewed by the over-55s.
The Grey Matters study also found that most over-55-year-olds felt that
ad campaigns were too cryptic and not aimed at them, despite the fact
that this age group - around 15 million consumers - accounts for around
40 per cent of consumer spending.
The grey market is an increasingly important target for advertisers and
the number of over-55s is expected to grow by 50 per cent over the next
30 years. By the year 2030, over-55s are expected to account for 43 per
cent of the population.
Dr Wayne Fletcher, the head of consumer insight at Carat Insight, said:
’The over-55s were once regarded as a group of has-beens. However,
enlightened marketers should court them with as much vigour and zest as
He added: ’This market represents the fastest growing sector of the
population over the next ten years.’