New agency targets baby boomer market

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 8 March 2016
Brian Conroy and Bruce Illidge. Image: Supplied

The launch of a new agency, My Generation Advertising, is set to bridge the generation gap between advertisers and Australia’s population of 7.3 million baby boomers.

The brainchild of Brian Conroy, who is ex-JWT, Conroy Partners, and Ogilvy and Bruce Illidge, who is ex-Lintas, Masius and Illidge Thorp & Partners, My Generation Advertising thinks it knows how to communicate with the over 50s market because its founders are boomers themselves.

“The boomer generation is healthier, wealthier and more educated than their predecessors, and have grown up in a consumer society shaped by lifestyle, aspirations and choice," says Conroy.

“They have money to spend and dynamic lives to live, yet they are largely neglected by marketers.” 

A Nielson report found boomers, people born post World War II between 1946 and 1964, control more than half of all consumer spending in the western world; a huge potential market that advertisers have been slow to recognise.

They buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of over-the-counter drugs and 80% of all leisure travel.

The report also found advertisers are lured by the prospect of a younger consumer with long-term potential, but boomers have more spending power and more brand loyalty than any other demographic.

However, there is a bias that exists that assumes that the older a consumer gets, the less valuable they become, which leads advertisers to use little creativity when targeting boomers, hitting the demographic with funeral and insurance ads.

Illidge says most boomers don’t like the way advertisers communicate with them, finding the advertising they are exposed to is often uninspiring and doesn't reflect the reality of their lifestyle.

“When they see or hear advertising that doesn’t relate, or they can’t understand, they simply switch off. Boomers want advertising that speaks their language. It’s a tough call when most advertising is developed by creatives in their 20’s and 30’s,” he says.

“To imagine they’re set in their ways and not worth pursuing as consumers is greatly underestimating their huge wave of purchasing power.”

My Generation Advertising wants to help clients understand the potential of marketing to boomers, and with the ASB projecting the over 65 population will increase 84% by 2031, it's a lucrative time to appeal to the previously ignored market.

“We tap into their likes, dislikes, emotions, goals, dreams and everything else that influences purchasing decisions. We get them. We are them,” says Conroy.

The agency isn't the only company tapping into the boomer business, Seven West Media recently announced it secured a 33% stake in the Starts at 60 website - a new information website and only community for seniors in Australia.

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