In with the Old

In this week’s Adage, two readers responses were published concerning age and advertisers. Basically, it has become the trend to focus on the younger target audiences, say 18 to 24, and EVERYONE has been doing this. Agencies are finding it harder to convince their clients of who their target really is.

1) It is more than common knowledge that the older generation, the baby boomers and the older portion of Generation X, will make up the largest portion of the United State’s population as well as wealth. See

In my experience, myself and five other college grads put together an advertising campaign for a small U.S. airline company. The amenities of the plane and the smaller locations it flew to screamed for an older target. Most of their destinations…limited when comparing it to Southwest airlines and even American Airlines, were not your typical Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago-O’Hare destinations. Think cities around there that are popular but smaller in population. Extensive research showed where availability in the target for airlines lies. However, the president’s first question to us is why did we move their target of 18-24?

2) The reader, Jack Parnell, points out that clients often focus on this younger target then wonder later where their audience went?

For metrics and investment purposes, the target age does have to be set in stone but it should not be set in stone forever. Possibly, clients should think of their target focus system as an accordian: Always focus on a core but expand your focus by some percentage as the core grows.

3) Obviously, your target will grow up.

Obviously, luxury products are not really targeting this younger audience but I bet they see them coming at least (See BMW films; controversially-See beer manufacturers). Think carbon foot prints but for advertising, brand awareness and brand image.

The individuals in your target focus will come and go, but make sure you shouldn’t be going with them.

See jumping off a cliff because everyone else is doing it  (joking)!





See the 80/20 rule.


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