Uber-cool 69 y/o Helen Mirren is L’Oreal Paris’s new U.K. Ambassador–in the U.S. we’d probably say she was the spokesperson, or face of, L’Oreal Paris.
She vows her photos will be untouched. As far as aging? Dame Helen said: “Your 40s are good. Your 50s are great. Your 60s are fab. And 70 is f—— awesome. I’m not quite there yet, but almost.”
Her ambassadorship marks a new approach to age in the fashion and beauty industry, celebrating it rather than promoting an “anti-ageing” message.
This is a good example of how Boomers are affecting advertising. We still buy cosmetics, and L’Oreal wants a slice of that pie. They make their appeal by hiring a glamorous spokesmodel who is even older than we are. It’s not radical that brands are targeting Boomers, because brands have been targeting Boomers for 60 years, what’s radical is that a major, global cosmetic company is targeting 60 year old women, a heretofore ignored demographic. Not as much advertising money is spent on 50+ as is spent on younger demos, but when we were 20, and 40, no one targeted 50+ at all, and no one ever hired a 69 year old woman to represent them, either.
This is a nod from Madison Ave. that the Boomer market is still relevant, and it’s also an important message for all women, all ages, everywhere, that you don’t have to just disappear when you get older, and that you can still be attractive and vivacious.
Which is more offensive– Taco Bell’s one-handed breakfast mash up that’s a scrambled egg waffle taco, or the two older men–Lenny and Harold–who humiliate themselves, and make Taco Bell marketers look like assholes, in this TV ad?
“Fabulous at Every Age” is an evergreen for the women’s mags—every few months you’ll see that headline, with beautiful celebrities representing the 20s, 30s 40s and 50s. Rarely are 60s included in the list, but April’s Harper’s Bazaar has officialy extended our shelf life. If Diane Saywer can look fabulous at 68, so can you!
When Cialis pitches Boomers, they use real lookers. Safeco uses buffoons.
Cola’s branding messengers are attractive, relatable, and age appropriate, like Britney Spears. Beer ads show people, famous or otherwise, who you’d want to hang with.
When Lancome reaches out to 50+ women, it’s Diane Keaton (67 y/o) that does the selling. She, too, is attractive, relatable, and age appropriate. Louis Vuitton appeals to seniors by running ads with both Sean Connery (83) and Charlotte Rampling (68 y/o).
If Pepsi’s message is that when you drink one, you’ll be just as bubble-ish-ious as Britney Spears, than the Safeco message is that when you insure with Safeco you’ll be just like this couple: annoying.
Duh! Hit forehead with palm of hand! It’s a “counter-intuitive ad!” I thought you would want to relate to the product being advertised in a positive way, but the genius of the Safeco ad is that disliking Marty and Edna motivates you to buy. Right?
I know I’m being picky, but that’s my job. Here are the ads:
In a media saturated culture, you’re nobody if nobody advertises to you.
For 50 years I’ve been advertising’s bulls-eye, the money demo, an early baby-boomer wooed by mass media and Madison Ave., from my pre-teen years, thru marriage, motherhood, career and beyond, advertisers jostled for my money. All the magazines, TV shows and ads were aimed at…me!
But, lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been marginalized by the big advertisers, the Cokes, and cars and cosmetics of the world. All the ads are targeted younger.
For the first time in my life, mainstream, iconic brands are not advertising to me. I feel rejected, jilted, humiliated, demoralized and left out. I’m feeling like I’m a nobody.
Put it this way, if there isn’t a specific ad, targeted to YOU, then you are off the cultural radar screen and you are Not Relevant.
How did the juggernaut formerly known as the Baby Boom morph into invisible and irrelevant?
Apparently, decision makers such as brand managers, ad agency types, and marketing directors (usually in 26-34 age demo), think that people over 50, which Baby Boomers are, have stopped buying. These same decision makers must not go to the movies, or Macys or the grocery store, because if they did, they’d see millions of boomers, spending lots of money.
Which means those very same corporations that humiliate me by not advertising to me, thus making me culturally invisible, are, in fact, getting my money anyway. For free. Without even having to make a pitch.
I say, it’s payback time for Coke and Revlon and all the rest: Boomers made your brands rich and famous. Don’t stop advertising to me now, just when I need you most! I’m losing my looks and my edge and the younger guys are nipping at my heels! Keep me relevant. Seduce me with advertising’s siren call. Confirm I exist. Tell the world I shop. Make me feel like I’m a somebody, again.
Because it’s advertising that sends out the message of what’s hip and cool, with its thin women, buff men, sleek cars, sleeker watches, fun sodas, and all those really white teeth.
I want to be wanted, if not forever, than at least for 60-seconds.