Katie Goddard, Account Director in our Consumer Health & Beauty team, considers how brands could be doing more to target the over-50s.
Baby Boomers, those born between 1946-1964, have the greatest spending power of any generation. Yet they are frequently being overlooked by brands in favour of ‘millennials’ (born 1981 to 1996) and ‘gen Z’ (born mid-1990s to early 2000s).
Inclusivity is trending and there has been a notable shift in the marketing landscape towards being more inclusive. For example, just this month make-up brand W7 launched their ‘Here Come The Boys’ advertising campaign starring solely men with an aim to be more inclusive of the male grooming audience.
Yet this inclusivity does not appear to be reaching older audiences. Some 80 per cent of female Baby Boomers say they rarely or never see women of their age in advertising campaigns and 74 per cent feel that brands do not accurately reflect their needs and desires.
Recent insights from Gransnet, a forum for the over-50s, highlight that women start to feel invisible and alienated by brand advertising strategies in their fifties. They feel under represented and misrepresented by brands, such as when young women are used to advertise anti-ageing products. This is potentially damaging for brands because 49 per cent of Baby Boomers say they avoid brands who actively ignore their age group.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the value of this demographic. Baby Boomers control 80 per cent of the UK’s disposable income and spend more per shop than any other age bracket2. In comparison, millennials have much less disposable income.
For brands looking to tap into this market, it is important to firstly understand the audience. It would be wrong to stereotype Baby Boomers as a generation of grey-haired technophobes. This audience is online and 90 per cent consider themselves to have a much younger style and attitude than their mother’s generation.
You only have to follow over-50s, Brighton blogger Suzi Grant, founder of Alternativeageing.net, to get the idea. Suzi told us that she doesn’t want to see her age bracket represented as a knitting old lady, she loves the same messages that are directed at millennials. She recommends working with a consultant in the age group of the target audience to create a marketing campaign that speaks to this generation. Likewise, audience focus groups of over-50s (a service we provide at Pegasus as part of our insights gathering process) can provide a useful sounding board for companies who want to target this group.
More than three in four (78 per cent) Baby Boomers say they have a strong appetite to explore and have new experiences,1 so the opportunity for brands to engage is significant. Could your brand be doing more to reach this audience? To talk about how you can better understand this audience and how to engage with them, get in touch with our research team (Vanessa.email@example.com)
 The Booking Project, August 2019
 Insights taken from ‘Beyond the millennial market’ presented by Lara Crisp, editor at Gransnet at Decoded Future, June 2019