June 16, 2021

Age is not important…

I was 10 years old when I thought that my 40-year-old parents were already very old and my 50-something uncles were already “grandparents”, regardless of whether they had grandchildren or not; At 18, a 30-year-old man was an old “green tail.” If you ask me now, I would tell you that a 40-year-old man is not such a bad idea and if he looks like Lenny Kravitz a 57-year-old would not dislike me.

According to INEGI data, in 1930, life expectancy for women was 35 years and for men 33. In 2010 this indicator was 77 years for women and 71 for men and recently in 2019, it was it was 78 years for women and 72 years for men.

It is clear that now we live longer than before, our social roles have changed a lot and our perception of ourselves is constantly changing over time.

Our long stay in this world requires us to be productive longer. Some are enough to get married more than twice, others never do, some have time to start over after retiring, others have to keep working to stay and not only that, by living longer we seek to see ourselves and feel young as much as possible. it can “Because how they see you they treat you and nobody wants to be treated like an old man”Sometime a woman in her fifties told me about makeup in an interview.

The image of an old man with a diamond sweater, a white head and a kitten is not something you want to see in a brochure that is supposed to be addressed to you if you are 50, because if your life expectancy is at least 20 more years, What comes next? A mummy?

The best example of this was the discontent expressed in social networks by the fifties before this type of graphic representations to promote the vaccination campaign last month, since that image did not represent them. Many proudly uploaded photos with their best looks, highlighting youth outfits, dyed hair, life fitness, some necklines, flirty faces and accessories such as glasses or hats that complemented their outfits to make it clear that they don’t look like that unfortunate illustration.

The most curious thing is that those of 40 also jumped to wonder how they would represent them. Maybe it’s because our loved ones old millennials With excess of youth and many projects, in 10 years they will reach the fifth floor.

For marketing and communication, age discrimination is an issue that must be addressed so as not to miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with a target that you buy, consume and will continue to do so for a long time.

Now people work longer, often out of financial necessity. Let’s think about owners of their own businesses (formal and informal) or in the case of employees who will be able to access retirement schemes or government support up to the age of 65 and who are not always enough to live on.

In just 20 years we have seen that the percentage of employed people between 50 and 59 years of age has increased (INEGI).

Although young people are the priority of many brands, older people represent an opportunity because they also have purchasing power and a great desire to live new experiences.

“The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50”Tells us that as people get older they feel more relaxed about their age, more self-confident and enjoy life more, into their late 70s and beyond.

Little by little the tendency to attend to this group of people is consolidated, but if they are represented as weak, vulnerable and dependent, not much will be achieved.

A survey of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) conducted among audiences over 50, ages 50 to 100, found that:

  • Two-thirds of the audience over 50 believe that the media images they see are “ageist” (age discriminatory).
  • In the general population, 62% of participants reported that they would consider switching to a brand that they feel represents people their age.

With all of the above, it is important to take into account the following recommendations to communicate adequately with this segment without making use of outdated or out of place stereotypes.

Beware of generic or outdated segmentations. Age targeting may be a logical starting point, but in modern marketing it is no longer functional, considering the diversity and complexity of age groups, particularly those over 50. In these cases it is better to consider generational segmentation.

Inclusion and integration. Chronological age may not accurately reflect how our audience feels. Boundaries between age groups are often blurred. People share interests, lifestyles, and needs with people of all ages rather than their own age group, and it’s pretty and it’s okay. In your communication you can include spaces with people of different ages interacting.

Diversity and projection. Research has found that people over 50 consist of various lifestyle groups, each with different values, attitudes, behaviors, and responses to advertising. Different approaches to age are important here: for example, cognitive (how they are perceived), social (how others perceive them) and aesthetic (how they want to see themselves). Choose which age approach your brand takes with respect to your audience, look for archetypes instead of stereotypes, do not fall into the mistake of putting the white-haired man in a diamond sweater or the kid with a side cap and skateboard, neither will be good viewed.

Now you see that it is quite a challenge to represent the friends that go beyond the fifth floor?


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