Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If Brent Bouchez and the Pew Center are right, I might become a target market again

When you're blogging, it's key to differentiate yourself from other bloggers. Well, other than my belief that Brian Eno's father is Slim Whitman, one key differentiator between myself and other bloggers is my age. For example, I'm older than Louis Gray, Jesse Stay, the Ffundercats, Robert Scoble, and just about every other blogger that you read.

Which means that I am, in a sense, clearly outside of many demographics that are targeted by advertisers, including those who advertised at the Super Bowl. Brent Bouchez at BusinessWeek talked about this:

Seeing that the median adult age in this country is 49, the average TV viewer is over age 50, and most Americans watch the Super Bowl, one can infer that the median age of Sunday's Super Bowl viewer was in the neighborhood of middle age.

It was disconcerting to see advertising that mostly starred twentysomething men who seemed to be slaves to their thirst for beer, chips, and girls. Unintelligent slaves at that.

I, on the other hand, was represented by Betty White (88), Abe Vigoda (89), and a guy on a power chair (about 95). Don't get me wrong: I like Betty White, but she's old enough to be my grandmother.

But, of course, we all know why advertisements target younger folks. It's because of a truth that everybody knows.

[M]ost advertisers believe consumers over 50 are stuck in their ways and don't try new brands....

There's only one problem. This truism may not be true.

[A] PEW Center study showed last year that people in their 20s and 30s were actually more averse to trying new brands and products than were people in their 50s.

I couldn't find that particular Pew Center study, but I did find these statistics from the Kaw Valley (Kansas) Senior Monthly:

The senior citizen group (age 50 and over) offers an expanding target market opportunity. Not only is the senior citizen group growing at twice the rate of the rest of the population, they also have more free time, are more prosperous, and reflect a greater propensity to spend than ever before.

Senior citizens are the wealthiest consumer segment and have the largest disposable income of any population group. The average per capita discretionary income for Americans 50 and older is more than $8,400 per year, compared with $6,505 for Americans of all ages.

Senior citizens are living longer and more active lives than ever before. As a result, they have more disposable income to spend on financial investments, insurance plans, non-profit organizations, health, travel, gifts and general merchandise.

Advertising in Kaw Valley Senior Monthly allows businesses to reach the area's rapidly growing senior population with highly targeted messages at very affordable rates.

Now the chances that an advertiser will act on this information are about as high as the chances that an NBC entertainment executive will make an informed decision. However, it's worthwhile to fantasize that next year's Super Bowl will have advertisements that are specifically targeted toward me.

I can see it now - people on a hill, no job worries, lots of leisure time, all singing, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...."

(Swedish babes picture source, license)
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