Why Marketing to Boomers Is Tricky
Gilmartin says that there are a few ways that Boomers differ from other demos. For one, they tend to value experiences over products. While that may seem a subtle point of differentiation, he says that as people get older, they tend to value experiences more than stuff.
One marketer that seems to have recognized this is Apple, whose ads for the iPad are less about gadget fetish (which would appeal to twenty-somethings) than functional things you can do with the device, like read books or display recipes.
(One thing worth noting about the Apple ad is that, while you can be pretty sure some of the people featured are of Boomer age, you can’t tell for sure because you can’t see their faces. Likely, this is because Apple wanted to make the product the hero of the ad, but an eMarketer report recommended that marketers steer clear of featuring too much grey hair in their ads. “Boomers are immediately turned off by association of infirmity, old age and decline,” the report notes. “Most brands don’t want to ‘age’ their products with blatant appeals to older consumers.”)