Youth In Advertising

I’m over 50. Well over 50. Not yet 60. There I said it. Three ways.

Before Hard Rock Las Vegas existed there was a beach with bikinis.

Before Hard Rock Las Vegas existed there was a beach with bikinis.

I read Bob Hoffman’s Ad Contrarian blog. If you are under 50, you should too. You will learn valuable information. Do it because I said so.

If you’re marketing to more than the R(x)ehab demographic, maybe you should consider making the message more relevant by targeting the correct demographic. Do you know how to do that other than using a focus group?

We, the people over 50, would like to see just a little more representation. We do buy more than Aleve®, Depends®, and Viagra®.

When I read Bob’s post about the misconception that “people over 50 want to be like young people”, it got me thinking.

What’s the percentage of staff over 50 in any given agency?

I harken back to the last agency I worked in and I think out of about 250, there were just a few – very few workers over 50 – who were not partners.

Where do those of us, who at 49, go when the big five-o is looming? I know that one won’t be a coordinator forever. I know the pay is pretty shitty in many of the positions. Do we find something more meaningful that pays better? Like landscaping?

Maybe that’s the nature of agencies. Interns become coordinators, coordinators become account managers, account managers become something else that is utterly strategically important, then they become VP of Operations. Eventually they own the place. But that is few, far between, and for the suck-ups.

The talented leave and open their own agencies. They assure themselves relevance, well past 50. Or they become consultants. Guilty.

So it comes down to this. Perhaps those kids don’t realize that anyone exists but them. Their parents did train them to think that way, after all. Everyone’s special.

So they market to their peeps. God forbid they’d ever think their parents did anything like buy a car, take a vacation or buy pickles.

Thinking back, rarely did we have a creative review where those of us over 50 were invited to lend a little critique, insight.

Maybe it’s time to seek out your over-50 colleagues and get their take on what they buy, how much they spend on themselves and their adult children.

What brand conversation engages them? (That one’s for Bob)

And by the way, there are awesome, talented people over 50 who would love to work for your agency and are out of work. Hire that person. They get it, and will work harder and more efficiently than anyone you’ve hired out of college. They onboard quickly because they have experience you don't yet have.

And yes, those folks know how to use a Mac and an iPhone. Think about it. Steve Jobs would be 58. I'll bet you’d hire him.

Now I gotta go. Have to iron my bikini.