Change in New York Radio (again)

Dave Tomm
Thu Mar 12 11:11:14 EDT 2009

A couple of points not mentioned...

First off, this generation's 55+ crowd isn't exactly rolling in  
disposable income.  They have some unique challenges that by and large  
previous generations didn't.  Many baby boomers waited to have  
children, so some are financing college educations in their late 50's  
and into their sixties.  Also, this group's parents are living much  
longer nowadays and often significant sums of money are spent on long  
term parental care.  There has been growth in this sector over the  
last few years (think Linden Ponds, Big Pharma ads and The Scooter  
Store) but it's still a limited market.  Unlike the previous  
generation, the Boomer crowd is the first generation as a whole to  
plan their retirements around 401K's rather than pensions.  We know  
how well 401K's have done lately.

What made the Boomers so successful to market to in the 80's and 90's  
is a drawback these days.  This group is not exactly a bunch of  
savers.  They burned through a lot of discretionary income in their  
younger years and quite a few of them did not properly invest in their  
retirements.  It's true that the older demos control the bulk of the  
wealth in this country, but there are a small handful that are very  
well off, and quite a few that are not.  Advertisers have figured out  
how to reach the more affluent of this group (news-talk, sports,  
mainstream AC) without investing in a format that specifically targets  

Lastly, many corporations want to plan their advertising campaigns to  
not only convince people to switch to their brand, but to stay with  
them in subsequent years.  Whether it's automobiles or razor blades,  
companies want to build brand loyalty that will last for the next 40  
to 50 years.  Considering that  Generation Y (or the echo Boomers) is  
a larger group than the Boomers themselves, it makes sense that  
agencies want to target this young, sizable demographic and ride their  
wave for the next half century, just as they did with the Boomers  
beginning in the late 60's.

-Dave Tomm

On Mar 12, 2009, at 1:30 AM, Roger Kirk wrote:

> Paul Hopfgarten wrote:
>> It's not whether you BUY things or not.....
>> It's whether you're more willing to switch brands or not, and our  
>> age group (50+) simply isn't as open to trying different brands as  
>> the young minds full of mush.
> Possibly true, but ads that merely inform of the existence of a  
> product (rather than touting its alleged advantages over a competing  
> product i.e. switch brands) can still be useful for the older  
> generation.
> I tend to agree that those of us 54+ (Lord, I wish I was 54 again)  
> are more likely to consider whether or not we really NEED a product  
> before buying instead of rushing out to buy - just because we GOTTA  
> have it!  Less likely for us to be "early adopters" than people in  
> their 20's.

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