Company Presidents please note - your current marketers are about to make the same mistake as their predecessors, ignoring the 50+ consumer until they're one themselves and retired. But there is a solution - give them this book to read immediately."
Michael Harvey, Consumer Planning Director, Diageo

Chapter 12 : Communicating with the over-50s

Most communications agencies, when asked to produce case studies of communicating with an audience aged 50 and over would struggle to find more than a handful over the past ten years. A couple of times a year they might work on a communication brief that specifies that the target audience should be over 50. This would almost certainly be for financial services, holiday companies or products specifically aimed at older people.

It is also a rarity for communication briefs to target an age profile that is wide enough to include consumers aged 50 and above. The majority of briefs an agency receives or collaborates on with their clients will specify a much younger audience. The profile '18 - 34 ABC1' appears with such regularity that it has become a cliché.

This chapter argues that it's time for advertisers, agencies and media owners to revisit the over 50's and develop a more contemporary approach to communicating with them in the 21st century. The chapter draws upon the findings of the research study that OMD conducted in 2004 that challenged the industry beliefs about the 50 plus and is our guide in communicating with today's older consumers. Jo Rigby, Head of OMD Insight, contributed this chapter.