Marketing to Seniors

Insights on the over-50s and the ad campaigns that target them

Decision Making

Damaris Montalvo and Angela Baldwin, Warc Prize for Social Strategy, Entrant, 2014
This case study explains how Mercy Ships, a non-profit organisation which provides medical care to people living in poverty, used social media to capitalise on television coverage in the US. The organisation was to be featured in a news magazine show, and so developed a digital and social strategy to build on this.

Lenka Korečková and Petr Kubánek, ESOMAR, CEE Research Forum, Bucharest, 2014
This paper describes the results of an ethnographic study which sought to understand the lifestyles of people aged over 50 in the Czech Republic, in order to properly target financial products. The research allowed over-50s to be segmented into five groups based on life and financial activity, producing recommendations of what products, services and improvements could be made in bank branches to keep these clients.

Deborah Mattinson, Market Leader, Quarter 2, 2014
This article describes the results of research conducted into the attitudes of people aged 55-64 in the UK, dubbed 'tomorrow's pensioners'. The group was segmented into seven clusters based on their attitudes, with clusters one and two feeling more confident and financially secure, through to cluster seven who feel afraid of the future.

Volker G. Kuppelwieser and Marko Sarstedt, International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2014
As a central element of the socioemotional selectivity theory, individuals’ future time perspective (FTP) has recently attracted considerable attention in marketing. Lang and Carstensen (2002) provide a measurement scale for FTP, which has since been used by many academic researchers who univocally accept its original unidimensional reflective operationalisation.

Case Study

Croots rebrand
Design Business Association, Gold, Design Effectiveness Awards 2014
This case study describes how a new brand, Croots, was created for AC Supplies, a English maker of canvas and leather bags and accessories. The brand identity needed to represent English provenance, craftsmanship, quality and value for money and its design was inspired by marquetry found on shotgun barrels.

Direct Marketing Association - UK, DMA Awards, Gold, 2013
This case study describes a campaign by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a lifeboat and lifeguards charity, which sought to increase awareness of the danger of water, targeting men aged 35-60 in the south-east of England. This group was targeted as 80% of people who drown in the UK every year are from this group.

Integrated Marketing Communications Council Europe, Silver, IMC European Awards 2013
This case study describes a campaign by the Scottish Government to raise awareness of breast cancer symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis, especially amongst women in more deprived areas of the country. A daring creative approach was used, with a celebrity appearing in ads naked except for a sign with the campaign message on, and an ad with pictures of breasts with visible signs of cancer.

Integrated Marketing Communications Council Europe, Bronze, IMC European Awards 2013
This case study describes a campaign by Grant's Whisky, the British alcohol brand, which sought to increase brand loyalty amongst middle class people with an emotional message. The campaign theme focussed on the importance of spending time with family and building memories, promoting the brand's own strong family history.

Theresa Loo and Sirius Wang, Admap, December 2013
This article discusses the changing behaviour of people aged over 55 in China, arguing that using age alone to target consumers is ill-advised as there is much diversity within this group. Older people in China tend to be more financially secure, active and digital-savvy than previously.



Talking to older audiences

Practical tips, examples and recommended reading


Marketing to seniors

Over-50s: Theories and key trends


Moving beyond youth culture

A comprehensive Havas study on ageing


Baby Boomers

An overview from the Advertising Research Foundation


Brain Training

How Boomers’ health concerns are driving a new market