Lisa Mathison, senior director/media at Conagra, is quick to remind marketers that old-dog legacy brands can learn new tricks from young, direct-brand pups.

Even with the underlying support of rich, deep data that leads to brand invention as well as media innovation, however, “You need to make sure you’re carrying your message through to consumers in ways that they will be most receptive.”

But, with the right tools for the proper product in place, the traditional reliance on “flat” demographics (i.e., “women 25–54”), Mathison contended, has given way to “relevant reach” that identifies audiences by interest, not age.

In the food category, where the Conagra house of approximately 90 brands largely resides, age no longer matters as much as intent: if a consumer cohort is focused on a low-carb/high-fat diet, the common denominator has become product preference, not a quantification in years.