The stupidity of focusing on Millenialls

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I love Bob Hoffman. He is a “no bullshit” ad guy who gets it. His latest read is “Marketers are from Mars, Consumers are from New Jersey” tells it like it is. Among his thoughts “focusing on Millennials is stupid” and I could not agree more. Here is a snippet..

One of the most infamous advertising campaigns in the history of the auto industry was called, “This Is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile.” The premise was that Oldsmobile was suddenly a vehicle for young people. There were only three problems with this campaign:

1ne: Young people couldn’t afford and didn’t buy new cars

2wo: When they did, they’d rather stick a jelly donut up their ass than buy an Oldsmobile

3hree: The campaign insulted the people who did buy Oldsmobiles — their parents

Apparently, Oldsmobile thought it was a good idea to malign their real customers and flatter the people who would never buy their products. Why? Because their real customers were old, and everyone in advertising and marketing hates old people . It may have been the first time in the history of business that a company told its best customers that its product was no longer for them.

Marketers, it seems, would rather pander fruitlessly to young people than make real money selling things to old people . The idea of people over 50 driving their cars, drinking their coffee, eating their hamburgers, and wearing their sneakers is so appalling and such an embarrassment that marketers willfully ignore and disparage the most valuable economic group in the history of the world.

Today, marketers are just as likely to target people simply because they are young — even though they have no money and cannot and will not buy their products. Conversely, they are just as likely to ignore people who are old — even though they have lots of money and are prime targets for their products.

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If you could find a group …

1. Who was responsible for about half of all consumer spending…

2. Who control over 70% of all the wealth in the country.

3. Who have about 80% of the savings .

4. Who dominate 94% of all CPG categories.

5. Who buy almost 2/3’s of all new cars.

6. Who own 57% of all second and vacation homes and all the stuff that goes with that …who are far easier and cheaper to reach than other groups would you ignore them?

If you could talk to CFOs about this, they’d get it in 5 seconds. But we have to talk to CMOs.” According to Nielsen, people over 50 are “the most valuable generation in the history of marketing.” Yet only 5% of advertising is directed at them.

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Marketers are embarrassed by Boomers. They’re afraid that 18-year-olds will, god forbid, see people over 50 using their products. Marketers think that people over 50 are decrepit old farts.

Marketers cannot understand that Barack Obama, Jerry Seinfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep and tens of millions of others are all over 50. They are healthy, wealthy, and wise. And, in many ways, hipper and more youthful than the marketers. Oh, but they’re dying out, right? Not exactly. Between now and 2030 the population over 50 will grow at about three times the rate of adults under 50.

One of the great failures of the advertising industry is how clueless we are to our own prejudices and illogical behaviors.

Yesterday a Millennial on Forbes even tried to suggest that P&G was in trouble because they ignored Milennials! How can someone be some stupid?

I highly recommend this book. Quick read and great read…

Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on November 16, 2017.

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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