Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When did we decide that everybody on earth was 28 years old?

I was judging at an advertising awards show last weekend and, if this is what such shows have come to, I don't think I want to do it anymore.

Best In Show went to a Tumblr campaign.

I gave it a high score in its category, but was outvoted when it came to the Best In Show determination. Sure, the posts were funny and well-written and the occasional animated GIFS were clever, but I had – and am still having – a hard time considering something like that the best bit of "advertising" in the show.

"Not everybody on earth is 28 and follows Tumblr," I said.

"But look at the target for (it was a fast-food outlet)," they said.

"Correct," I said. "Are they all on Tumblr? The older end of that group (I resisted saying "the adults") aren't necessarily spending that much time on Tumblr."

And so it went.

At one point, one of the other judges reminded me that "it's 2017," as if an Old Guy like me should just shut up and go off in a corner and die and stop getting in the way. Well, I looked it up – remember, this was a fast-food outlet (in 2017, don't forget that). It seems that 55% of fast-food spending is done by people older than 45 and 38% by folks over 55. And nearly 10% by folks over 75.

The older set isn't as technically ignorant as millennials would like you to believe, but that still sounds to me like a target in which anywhere from 10% to 55% aren’t the sort to go through the day with their noses buried in their smart phone checking Tumblr. Or Instagram, Pintrest, Facebook, Twitter or something else.

But like I said, I was outvoted and went back to the hotel for a couple of belts of Geritol while a Tumblr campaign was named Best In Show in an advertising awards show.