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Missing in Action: Why is Advertising Ignoring Adults Over 50?

Special content feature for attendees of UNLTD Live.

Fast Company hit the nail on the head recently when it published a piece entitled, “Why is marketing to seniors so terrible?

It’s a battle cry we at YouAreUNLTD have been spearheading since our launch 18 months ago. We believe that society’s stereotypes about getting older have little to do with reality and, while we are working to change that by telling stories about people living the UNLTD Life, unfortunately, most media and advertising does little to dispel misconceptions and advance the conversation.

As Toronto-based Jeff Beer writes in the Fast Company feature, older people who are living full and fulfilling lives are utterly devoid from the media landscape: “The world of ‘oldsvertising’ is a hellscape full of reverse mortgages, erectile dysfunction pills, and bathtubs that won’t kill you. If you took your entire view of the human race from primetime advertising alone, you’d see a society without old people. They don’t work, they don’t drink beer, they don’t drive cars. They don’t exist. According to Havas Group, only about 5 percent of U.S. advertising is even aimed at people over 50.”

It’s not much better here in Canada, where the vast majority of marketers tend to favour Millennials, essentially ignoring or perpetuating the tired stereotypes of older consumers. Big mistake.The group wields enormous consumer influence: Globally, older consumers will account for $15 trillion in spending by next year.

The numbers alone make a compelling business argument: There are 1.6 billion people aged 50 or older in the world. That number is expected to double over the next three decades. People are living longer in better health and with more wealth. Canada is home to 9.6 million Boomers—almost one in every three residents—and the over 50 crowd is flourishing.

That’s a lot of opportunity for smart companies to drive growth and sales.

Keep reading on YouAreUNLTD about the massive business opportunity for companies who speak to older adults, and some of the brands that are doing it right. Read now!

UNLTD Influencers. UNLTD Possibilities. 

Connect with the new aging consumer.

Contact us today to book a meeting
Or, contact Anne Marie Wright, Partner at YouAreUNLTD directly.
YouAreUNLTD publishes regular insights via e-mail that disrupt and challenge tired and outdated assumptions on what it means to get older in Canada. Be informed, JOIN OUR NETWORK.
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