Study says boomers still respond to youthful branding


According to WPP’s The Geppetto Group agency, adults 35-64 in general and Baby Boomers in particular aren’t necessarily prone to act their age when it comes to the brands to which they are attracted. In fact, youthful optimism is an appeal that can work with this group.

Geppetto asked 200 adults in this wide age group to describe what pushes them to a particular brand. It did not expect the results it got. “Surprisingly, the study found that some of what drives us when we’re young stays with us, hard-wired into our personalities, even when we’re about to sign our first Social Security check.”

The Geppetto Group CEO Julie Halpin commented, “Marketers need to ask themselves if they’re missing the boat when it comes to Boomers. Are they offering them optimism and social conscience, and are they identifying with inherent qualities of their youths? Think of the impact that kind of thinking could have for sports retailers or restaurant chains for instance.”

According to the study, two-thirds of the group sees their brand choices as an expression of their personality and 57% are looking for brands that are surprising and delightful, rather than reliable. Both are traits Geppetto would have expected to be hallmarks of a more youthful survey group.

Chief Strategic Officer Rachel Geller noted, “”The Boomers’ heyday may have been in the ’60s, but 50 years later they’re   still looking for optimism and a social conscience from their brands.”

Geppetto found that these traits are actually stronger in Boomers than they are in the younger Gen X demo that grew up in a much less idealistic national environment.

RBR-TVBR observation: The perception that people become worthless as advertising targets once they surpass 54 years of age is increasingly being challenged. If ever there was a time to challenge it, this is it, with the Boomer bulge entering into age demographic territory traditionally avoided by Madison Avenue.