Monday, June 22, 2009

A few interesting thoughts on age

As long ago as 1971 with the publication of Jerry Della Femina's great book "From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor", it's been pretty well accepted that advertising is a business full of young people.

Probably before, even.

So here comes something interesting, courtesy of MediaPost Publications and their daily e-newsletter. Please sit quietly and I will quote it:

"According to McKinesy Consulting, by 2010, 50% of all consumer spending in America will be by people over the age of 50. And yet, the average age of an advertising agency creative person is 28. In fact, nationwide, less that 5% of [all] agency personnel are over 50."

If you don't subscribe to this free newsletter, you can read the whole piece here.

Because they can say it much better than I could, here is some more stuff right outa the articles:
  • "People 50+ earn $2.4 trillion annually compared to $1 trillion for the 18-34 group.
  • "According to McKinsey, people 50+ generate 41% of all disposable income.
  • "They buy 60% of all packaged goods, over half of all new cars and spend 75% more per vacation than consumers under 50.
  • "In 2007, people over 50 spent 3.5 times the national average holiday shopping online.

"And yet, nationwide research by AARP shows that the majority of consumers over 50 feels that advertising and marketing either portrays them negatively or ignores them altogether.

"Why? Because it's being created by people at least 20 years younger. "

(Notice the correct use of quotation marks please.)

I don't think there is any doubt at all that younger people understand the use, meaning and value of things like social networking and the Internet better than the coots still at the agency. Or that they do great creative nobody ever thought of doing before. But it does seem to me that if your target is in their 20's then perhaps an Old Guy is not in the very best position to do the creative.

Of course, by the same token . . .

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