TV Industry, Marketers Change Tune, Start Focusing on Older Clientele

According to a piece in the New York Times, advertisers and media executives have started to rethink their strategy of primarily targeting younger consumers, responding instead to an economic reality that has older people vastly out-earning the young. Carter and Vega write: "Marketers like Kellogg’s, Skechers and 5-Hour Energy drink are broadening their focus to those 55 and up, who were largely ignored in most of their media plans until recently." They continue: "Network executives are planning to introduce shows created to have broad appeal, including to older viewers and the ad dollars they represent."

The reason for the shift in a strategy that has been in place since the 1960s is largely one of numbers. Younger people have been hit harder by the recession: the unemployment rate for individuals aged 20-24 is 14.2 percent and for those 25-34 9.4 percent, as compared with only 6.2 percent among people aged 55-64.

Median earnings between the age groups are similarly disparate, again favoring older age groupings. Individuals aged 45-54 and 55-64 had the highest median weekly earnings of any age segment, coming in at $844 and $860, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, people aged 20-24 averaged weekly earnings of only $454, while those aged 25-34 had median weekly earnings of $682.

Carter and Vega write that until recently, "Once viewers reached 55, they were considered all but valueless." But older people--especially as the impact of the recession still lingers strong--have more money to dispense with than other age groups, consume a lot of media, and, according to Stephanie Papas, a source quoted in the article, "remain optimistic."

Since 2006, "the median age for audiences for every broadcast network has moved upward," and a NBC study suggested that older "consumers also seem to be spending on categories not traditionally associated with" their age group. This includes areas--such as electronics and digital devices--that are traditionally associated with younger consumers.

Says Alan Wurtzel, president of research for NBC Universal, about those who fail to begin targeting an older clientele: “You risk not only growth, but at some point you risk your brand.”

NH cf
SSDAN Office

No comments :

Post a Comment