NEWS20 June 2014

Over 50s – the generation ignored by brands

News UK

UK — Research shows the older generation considers themselves excluded from most brand communication with only 4% over the age of 50 feeling advertising is aimed at them.


The study from 50-plus community, High50 in partnership with Research Now, found only 11% of respondents feel brands are interested in them and one in five feels ignored by marketing. Among the brands that do resonate with this age group M&S, John Lewis and the BBC were cited as speaking most to this audience with Apple, Samsung and YouTube the least. Ninety-five per cent said technology brands didn’t target them at all and the majority ( 66%) thought most advertising was aimed at 16- to 34-year-olds. This is despite their spending power.

And this age group is enjoying their lifestage; they claim to have more time to do the things they enjoy ( 48%). The research found that 71% of people over 50 feel positive about their age, rising to 78% among 60- to 64-year-olds.

Technology giants Apple, Samsung and YouTube were among the brands that the 50+ group felt targeted them least, despite 57% saying they enjoy technology. 

James Burrows (pictured), co-founder and CEO of High50, said: “The study highlights a vast disunity between advertisers’ targets and those with any spending power. Sixty-seven per cent of those with children aged 21+ still living at home support them financially, yet our most economically powerful generation is one that is largely ignored by advertisers. Existing preconceptions about the over 50s is significantly out-dated, and it’s time we acknowledged that for many, becoming 50 is the start of the better half of their lives.”

Research Now spoke to 1305 people between the ages of 50 and 64 in May 2014 for this research.  



9 years ago

Interesting report, but I would suggest the cut-off age in your survey (64 years) is still too young. We're working on studies including older participants (up to 80) to establish where the real 'cut-off' point for the brand debate is, and it's a lot older than 64! Skincare, technology and travel are all very relevant categories for the over 64's, and I'd suggest we need to open our own minds to this, as well as those of our clients.

Like Report

9 years ago

The real truth is that many brands and companies are NOT interested in listening to older people. All you need to do is look at the demographic make-up of panels along with the average number of research opportunities provided to people of different ages, genders, etc. Older people do get opportunities but not even close to what younger people get. I think a lot of this comes down to the idea that older people have already chosen the brands and types of products that they are interested in. On the other hand, younger people are just starting out and they still need to figure out all the brands and products they will use over the rest of their lives. Advertising and research is decided by where the money comes from and for many basic consumer products, the money comes from younger people. So, yes, yes, older people buy products and need new products, but young people have a long life of shopping trips and brand loyalty ahead of them.

Like Report