Fixing the brand blind spot on age

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Fixing the brand blind spot on age


Leslie Walsh, marketing communications manager at Seat Ireland, and Michelle
Flanagan, events manager, Spin 1038/Spin South West.
Leslie Walsh, marketing communications manager at Seat Ireland, and Michelle
Flanagan, events manager, Spin 1038/Spin South West.

Many Irish marketers will recall targeting ‘silver surfers’ or grey consumers and filling out surveys ticking the right age box as they hit certain stages in life. MCCP’s latest Trendstream research on the ageless society shows the rules of the game have changed. What it means to be older is seeing the same amount of upheaval as consumer attitudes to gender inequality.

In January this year, the first of the baby boomer generation turned 72. MCCP strategy director Jo Wood says the boomers have changed their attitudes to ageing just as they led cultural and societal changes over the last 50 years. They are now the world’s biggest and wealthiest consumer group, with 80pc of personal financial assets.

In Ireland, there are 866,000 consumers between the ages of 55 and 75. The number is predicted to hit 1.28 million in the next 20 years. But it’s not just people. Brands are claiming to be ageless too. Diageo no longer focuses on reaching millions of Guinness drinkers but instead aims for the right people through micro-targeting and original content.

What drives the ageless society? Firstly, it approaches age as a mindset and defines itself by what it does and how it acts. The algorithms don’t care what age you are, they care about how you engage. Secondly, it pays attention to what people like Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, Bob Geldof and Meryl Streep say and do.

The greys have 60pc of the wealth in Ireland, despite only comprising one in four of the population. They aren’t afraid to spend, accounting for 57pc of recreational and cultural budgets and more than 50pc of restaurant bills. Wood warns brand owners about a blind spot.

Grey consumers don’t feel old. They’re adventurous and want more meaningful experiences than ever before. They’ve the means and free time to travel. In 2016, over-55s in the UK accounted for 135 million overseas bed nights and £8.5bn (€9.5bn) in spend.

Some 80pc had an interest in exploring new things – whether it be going on an Alaskan cruise and checking out humpback whales or buying a Tesla electric car. Wood says the ageless society loves brands and uses them as signifiers, while millennials use them as enablers.

Wood points to the Barclaycard ‘Start Today’ campaign in the UK as an example of marketing to an audience based on needs rather than age. So too, Ireland’s Freebird Club, which is a version of Airbnb for over-50s. Brand owners need to develop marketing communications that speak to greys and represent their realities.

Less than a third of Irish people trust social media to protect their personal data, a Censuswide survey of 1,005 Irish adults for Pure Telecom shows. Only 4pc “completely trust” social media networks to protect their information. Younger people are more trusting with 42pc of millennials and Generation Z trusting them to “some extent”, compared to just 23pc for anyone aged over 36.

The level of confidence in social media networks also varied among counties with Carlow, Westmeath and Cavan found to be the three most trusting counties. The counties with the least confidence were Meath, Leitrim, Kilkenny and Tipperary. Due to privacy concerns, one in four adults deactivated at least one of their social media accounts, with men quicker to take action than women.



Chocolate lovers have until next Tuesday to create their very own Cadbury Dairy Milk.Chocolate lovers have until next Tuesday to create their very own Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Chocolate lovers have until next Tuesday to create their very own Cadbury Dairy Milk.

 

Seat has signed up as the official car partner of Communicorp’s radio stations Spin 1038 and Spin South West. The Spin street crews will take to the highways and byways and show up at events across Dublin and Limerick over the next 12 months in the new Seat Arona Crossover SUVs.

Seat’s head of marketing and product Neil Dalton said five Aronas will be allocated to the two stations. In return, Seat will get 21 mentions a week on both stations and feature across promotions and activations for the car brand and its dealer network.

 

Chocolate lovers have until next Tuesday to create their very own Cadbury Dairy Milk to be sold as a limited edition bar. Choosing up to three ingredients, including spicy chili, crunchy nuts and indulgent brownie, would-be Willy Wonkas are asked to name their creation and explain the inspiration behind the confection.

Entries will be judged on taste and creativity. The best three flavours will be chosen from entries from Ireland and England, with the finalists visiting Cadbury HQ in Bournville where they put the finishing touches to their bars. When all three bars hit the shelves, they are voted on by consumers.

 

And finally… Avantcard credit card and personal loans has launched a new loyalty programme called Avantages. Consumers are now rewarded with discounts, offers, cashback deals and competitions. Among the brands signed up to the Avantages’ portfolio are Argos, Captain Americas, Circle K, Eason, Halfords, Hertz, M&S, Nike, Sky, Superdry, Tesco and Thérapie Clinic.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; [email protected]

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