Context and Content Matter
In the 1970s the average person was exposed to approximately 500 ads per day. Today that number is upwards of 5,000. In such a saturated and competitive market it can be hard to stand out. In order to capture the attention and buying power of the older adult demographic, brands need to appeal to older adults, demonstrating an understanding of what they want and value.
“It’s about what’s being conveyed, that’s what makes an impression on me.”
We recently asked members of our community to share with us advertisements that resonated with them over the course of a week. With no less than 35K options to choose from, we heard that memorable advertisements used refreshing, intriguing, and thoughtful marketing that piqued their curiosity and made them laugh. Many were also moved by marketing that portrayed diversity and inclusion. We heard that when done right, these ads don’t feel like they are selling, but rather communicating a company’s values, which is a meaningful consideration for older consumers. Older adults also appreciate relatable portrayals of themselves and are tired of outdated representations that perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Commercials like this were seen to effectively represent age diversity in a fun and contemporary way.
Why it matters
Many older adults told us they have a distaste for advertisements, especially those that feel outdated and stale or those which make them question what’s even being sold. We know that older adults value clear, thoughtful, imaginative, and modern marketing. Therefore, simplicity and positioning is important. Ads that offer visually captivating typography and relevant messaging are able to stand out amidst crowded subway stations or within a sea of commercials. As savvy consumers, older adults are unlikely to be swayed by branding which lacks clarity, purpose, and respect. Brands that wish to appeal to the 60+ demographic will benefit from recognizing this.
What we’re learning
Older adults want to know what it is, why it exists, and how it relates to them.
Older adults appreciate brands that communicate purpose and value. While visual branding is important, it is the what and who behind the brand that matters more, as older adults tend to gravitate towards companies that align to their own values. As conscious consumers, older adults appreciate the context behind a company and what they stand for. Whether that be a social mission, ethical and inclusive practices or an impactful founder story, these can be compelling drivers for the older adult consumer.
Build brands with impact, mission, and values at the forefront.
When designing products and services for older adults it’s not just about what a product can do but also communicating how it reflects what older adults want and value. Older adults appreciate the big picture and are drawn to brands that meet their expectations and deliver on their unique preferences. Brands built for older adults need to meet them where they are today by recognizing their desires for fresh, modern, high quality, relevant and ethical design.
For more insights from Alive Ventures sign up for our newsletter.