Aug 02, 2017 by Anna Schweissinger Category: Blog 0 comments

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71 Is the New 60

Marketing to the Greatest Generation

by Cynthia Metler

That’s right, I said it. We know that people are living longer than ever and healthier overall.

We spend so much time talking about Millennials and trying to figure out their needs and desires, but why are we ignoring what Nielsen called the “Silent Generation” and is now relabeled the “Greatest Generation”.

Having read the most recent Nielsen Total Audience Series which asked the question “Do you consume media the same way as your parents?”. Nielsen applied their Survey Methodology to the Generations, including Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and The Greatest Generation. Nielsen’s breakouts of media habits is quite thorough, but did not include any mention of the media habits of the Greatest Generation.

A client of mine asked me once, “why are we called the silent generation…no one cares what we think?”
He was thinking they were like the cellophane man, from the film “Chicago”. But in fact, it is something they would be very proud of, they were labeled “silent” because it is difficult to find out much about them at all, their spending habits and whereabouts. This generation values their privacy more than any other, therefore, it is difficult to track where they go, what they spend and how much income they have. However, much like the Millennials this generation also battles stereotypes like the assumption that Adults 71+ are like the Adults 71+ 20 years ago.

Today, it is difficult to find out much about spending habits and interests as this generation uses media differently than their younger cohorts, making them difficult to track. In the US, according to the most current research from Nielsen, the younger generations are increasingly more diverse than the older generations and the younger the audience the more likely they are to be hearing the message on a wireless device at a time of their choosing.

Overall, when Adults 71+ watch TV it is Live TV, not time shifted and on a Television screen, not a computer or tablet. When they watch TV, they watch for longer periods of time. We can reach these customers primarily in News programs and live sports and frequency is key.

As with their younger peers, this Generation over 70 is looking to book travel, buy cars, pick up food to go and are less likely to be looking for furniture, new homes or DIY projects.

The Greatest Generation (born 1917-1946) are heavier users of traditional television and radio sources while younger generations are heavier users of digital platforms. One common factor is the use of computers and cell phones by all, however the Greatest Generation is significantly less likely to click on an ad on the computer or smartphone.

I’ve always liked this saying but not sure where I first heard it. “As you grow older, you stand for more and fall for less.”

Greatest Generation

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