Australian disconnect between the media and the (older) consumer

The average Australian marketer is a 27-year-old male, which goes some way to explaining the disconnect in advertising for over 50s.

This finding from a report by PwC. A few years ago a similar statistic was revealed of the marketing industry in the UK.

In a recent conference in Sydney, one speaker claimed that 94% of actual agency staff in Australia are under 50-years-old, leaving a huge gap in between advertisers and a burgeoning market.Bank false teeth

When I worked in advertising I was able to draw on past experiences to help design communications targetted at younger audiences. After all, I had once been a teenager, a 20-something and so on. I had experienced what it was like, albeit in a different generation.

But how is one to craft persuasive sales messages to persuade consumers of an age and circumstance (physical decline, retirement) that they have never personally experienced? Most younger people turn to the nearest reference point, their older family members. This is misguided. People don’t want to be ‘sold to’ as parents or grandparents.

Time and time again we see evidence of this flawed approach; communications that miss their mark because they use unrealistic or demeaning portrayals of older people or they simply fail to look older consumers squarely in the eye and talk to them as the normal consumers they have been for the 50+ years of their lives.

Advertising has long been a “young-people’s business” but the demographic and economic realities of today demand that at least some old pros are needed to craft appropriate communications to the ageing consumer.

Oh, and the same applies to the brand managers and marketers who direct the agencies!