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Brands are Missing Out on Seniors

Brands are missing a trick when it comes to aging consumers.

Most brands could justifiably be accused of elder neglect. The population is aging rapidly, and yet brands fail to target that segment with the kind of gusto you’d expect. Put simply, older people have more money (partly because they’re working longer), but they’re being left out in the cold. Baby boomers, for example, control 70% of Americans’ disposable income, yet only 5% of advertising is geared toward their age group.

Those who habitually face ageism in the workplace would welcome relief from the same mind-set on their computer and TV screens. And they don’t just want to be sold cholesterol-lowering drugs and anti-aging creams, either.

Designers and marketers, admittedly, are in new territory; challenged with making and selling products to older people who are more tech-savvy and active than ever before (even tennis stars are getting older) and unconventionally interested in high-fashion, adventure travel, and even extreme sports, all the while facing the inescapable challenges of decline in cognitive, physical, and sensory capabilities.

Even so, there’s a surprising lack of advertising designed to appeal to seniors. The Huffington Post reckons what keeps advertisers (and ailing ad agencies) from exploiting the $15 trillion “longevity market” is being “stuck in 20th century thinking.”

Sounds like a golden opportunity to run circles round the competition! The most savvy brands, such as American Apparel, Vivienne Westwood, and Louis Vuitton, are leading the way. Have you woken up to the untapped potential of engaging in a brand conversation with elders?


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