In recent years, there has been an increased push for more ethnic diversity in commercials, and it is easy to see why. Sentiment aside, aiming your marketing at one ethnic group could alienate potential customers. Using a diverse set of models and actors in your advertising casts a wider net, and a wider net catches more fish.
While ethnic diversity in marketing has increased, age diversity hasn’t kept pace. If you look at enough modern advertising, you might think casting conversations are limited to “should she be twenty-one or twenty-five?” An analysis of 2019 Cannes Lions ads by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found that only 7% of the characters were older than sixty. That’s something marketers should think about changing.
Young people have purchasing power, and they can often gate keep trends. Especially in the early days of online shopping, it was important to court younger demographics. The fastest growing sales medium in the world was online sales, and young people were the primary customers driving that. However, this trend has changed. Boomers have embraced online shopping in the past couple of years, and online retailers need to be ready to embrace them in return.
According to the Washington Post, online sales for customers 65 and older have increased 49 percent from 2019 to 2020. This makes them the fastest-growing demographic for online shopping. The same report also found that their frequency of purchases is up by 40 percent. They’re becoming repeat online customers, and marketers need to take them into account when developing campaigns.
COVID-19 paved the way
While the catalyst of this trend was definitely the Coronavirus pandemic, it seems this change in consumer habits is here to stay. Older demographics have begun to make their footprint on online sales, and it is only growing. “There has been a significant increase in consumers over 50 who had never shopped online and are now saying, ‘Oh wow, this is so much easier than I thought.”
However, advertising campaigns haven’t caught up to this emerging demographic. For instance, Baby-Boomers have shown an increased interest in online shopping, but every Instacart, Doordash or Uber Eats commercial seems to feature young couples in their late twenties and early thirties. By the statistics, these companies are leaving money on the table. Instacart shoppers in the 60-plus category order groceries 25 percent more frequently than their younger peers and spend 35 percent more on household items, such as cleaning supplies and paper products.
Call me on my cellular device
A 2019 study showed 68 percent of baby boomers have smart phones. They will use those smartphones to buy your product if you market to them. One of these online food delivery services should have invested in advertising to the 65+ demographic. They should have used models and actors that Boomers could readily identify with and shown these potential customers that online shopping isn’t just for millennials anymore.
Picture this; an elderly couple is making dinner for their grandchildren. One of the grandchildren mentions how much they love blueberry cobbler. The couple doesn’t have any blueberries so they Doordash some from a local store, make the cobbler, and now the children want to come over next week too. An ad like that would have made all the difference when Covid pushed older shoppers out of the grocery store.
Are you “with the times?”
Ironically, only showing young models and actors can leave you behind the times. There’s an old quote that says, “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” Well, there’s a massive opportunity companies are missing with their narrow scope of advertising. Marketers need to be ahead of the curve, and that means putting in the work to develop new customer bases.
At Fridge we have two decades of experience, telling our client’s story to their target audience. Contact us if you want to expand your brand’s reach and develop a message that resonates with any and all potential customers.