The Mature Marketing Association today announces the first-ever
Mature Marketing Awards. These are intended to recognise and promote excellence in marketing activity directed at older consumers. More information and entry forms are available here. A shortlist will be published in August and winners will be announced at the Mature Marketing Summit in London on October 17th.
Kevin Lavery, Vice Chairman of the MMA, writes:
WARNING this blog contains adult content
I make no apology for this because I’m talking about the only part of the UK market which is actually growing. They hold an estimated 80% of the country’s wealth and have the highest disposable income of any age group. In fact they outspend their younger counterparts in almost every category from food and packaged goods to cars, cruises, entertainment and personal care.
In spite of this profitable profusion, they are all too often fenced off by marketers and their agencies as old tortoises with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin. Either that or so miraculously full of youthful vigour that they think nothing of cycling up Snowdon on mountain bikes.
Yes, it’s the 50 plus market that, in three years time, will make up more than half the adult population in this country - over 20 million. They’re bending the rules, bucking the norm and defining Britain’s ‘new old’.
It’s a youth centric marketing world
In the advertising industry we're obsessed with youth, we're endlessly trying to get "upwardly mobile Millennials" or "hard to reach youthful influencers" or some nonsensical and largely broke crowd who can't afford the premium SUV we have on offer. Meanwhile we've not looked around to see that all the people with money and influence are actually rather old.
Mature consumers are frequently bewildered by much of the advertising they see because it’s youth centric – even for things that all age groups buy.
Part of the problem is that people who create the ads don’t look like the people who buy the products. The average age of an ad agency account executive or creative is 28. It’s the same in marketing departments and, believe me, a 28 year old can’t think 50, 60, 70 or 80. Unconscious age bias is a proved academic fact.
So the ad agencies and their marketing clients are fielding people who are three, four even five decades younger than the age group that dominates the marketplace.
We swim in a world of groovy new language and trendy new terms, unaware that basic advertising concepts, tools, and techniques are tried and tested over years.
Native advertising and content marketing, two of the biggest buzzwords of 2016, have been around for more than 100 years. Take the examples from the 1890s when John Deere launched the Furrow magazine, the Michelin Guides from the 1900s, recipes from the Oetker Company, or even the entire soap opera genre.
Somehow the entire current advertising world thinks that we face entirely new marketing and psychological challenges in selling goods or services. The fact is that times and media change – people don’t.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many awful songs, terrible TV shows, and crap movies? I’ll tell you why. Because it’s really hard to make or write a good one.
The same is true with advertising. No one sits down to write a crappy ad. Mostly they just turn out that way. And when it comes to advertising to older people, age myopia really kicks in. Either that or the creative director reaches straight for the blue rinsed grannies from central casting. The result? Marketing that misses the mark.
In research, older consumers consistently report that they feel at best ignored and at worst patronised by current advertising and marketing.
That's why we want to champion and promote excellence in advertising and marketing activity that is aimed at older consumers. And why the Mature Marketing Association (MMA) in association with Warc, has launched the first ever Mature Marketing Awards.
You can find out more about the MMA and the awards here. You might even want to enter.
Grown up awards for grown up marketing.
Kevin Lavery is a marketing and advertising specialist for the 50+ cohort and is Vice-Chairman of the Mature Marketing Association (MMA).
Mark Beasley, Chairman, MMA