Efforts to interest advertisers, agencies and the media in older consumers are being redefined to make the older audience younger. For almost two decades, there have been initiatives aimed at burnishing the image of consumers in their 60s and 70s to counter perceptions of them as tradition-bound tightwads.

Those attemps have made some headway, giving high-fiber cereals and decaffeinated beverages more prominence, for example.

That reinterpretation seeks to revitalize the market by including the baby-boom generation, the 76 million Americans born from 1946 through 1964 who are turning 50 at a rate of one every seven to eight seconds.

The boomers are notoriously Peter Pan-like in refusing to grow old and by 2000, they will have twice the discretionary income of those who are 18 to 34.

One print ad begins :" How could you know, when you were 20 and impossibly sexy and unable to imagine yourself otherwise, that time would teach you something. That age is not a loss but an exchange of wisdom for youth, grace for foolishness, love for lust."

The contrast between the younger old and the older old will be even more pronounced among women because when a woman turns 55 now, she will have for the most part worked. She will be proficient. Nobody will push her around.

The baby boomers have established the cultural and social agenda of this country since they were in school. They are not going to concede that leadership position as they break 50.

International Herald Tribune, December 24, 1998

Téléchargez le document au format Word Download document (Word format)