“OUR TIME” Ads hit, and miss, the mark

These ads for this on line 50+ dating site pass the cringe test, but that’s about all. I wouldn’t want to be these people! If you are single, and 50+, you are probably looking to find interesting things to do, and interesting people to share them with. You get it that the romantic part of love has to be there eventually, but the fun part–the part where you are interested in each other because you are interested in the same things…becomes more important. After all, most of these folks have been here before.

I was almost expecting one of those joint bathtub shots at the end and a Cialis plug. That would have made me cringe, for sure.

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Working Longer Helps Younger Workers! What a concept!

A recent Opinion piece in the Sunday NYT quotes a surprising fact: “recent studies in Britain and Germany find a positive correlation between labor force participation among the elderly and youth employment.”  As they earn more, they spend more first of all. (Boomers will second that.)  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/retirement-goodbye-golden-years.html?scp=1&sq=boomer%20retirement&st=cse

And older workers may be more likely to be entrepreneurs, imparting valuable skills to the young. Older folks ( I still deny that I am one of those…) are very often the MOST ENTREPRENEURIAL!  The example given is Palm Beach, which has the highest self employment rate in the country. Listen carefully, AARP: Don’t think of Florida as “retirees”….think of them as “re-inventers” with the ideas, skills, energy, and yes sometimes, the NEED to keep working well past the so-called golden age of 65.

I personally never thought it was going to be too “golden” anyway. At least not in that sense.

Like most Boomers, what keeps me going is that I still think I can make an impact on the world, somehow, and that people will care to listen if I have something to say, no matter what the “clock age” says. Those experiences will be my new definition of “the golden years.”

AARP Tries to Rally “Seniors.” Are Boomers listening??

Another rendition of the "Greedy Geezers" from AARP

A new political ad from AARP http://www.aarp.org/protectseniors is the latest attempt by AARP to rally their base and build political clout. As a Baby Boomer, this new attempt just goes right over my head. I cannot relate to it, and I wonder how many in my generation can. First, the man in the ad, while he may be actually not that far from Boomers’ age group, looks old enough to be my Dad. Second, the camera pans wide to reveal a group of very serious- looking, definitely- not- working “retirees”–not a group I can relate to either. The “R” word again. The message is strident, angry even, aimed at getting seniors to call their congressmen and tell them not to cut their benefits. This just sounds like another ad in the “greedy geezers” genre. The message does not resonate with Boomers because Boomer’s benefits have already been cut! We don’t get social security until sometime AFTER age 65, not sure when we get Medicare.  We are the generation that coined the phrase “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  We get that there have to be changes, many of us accept that, and frankly have probably known all along that we would have to plan for our own “second act” whether or not we actually have, which is beside the point.

AARP, which I continue to believe should be renamed the “American Association of Reinventing People” if it has a chance of winning over Boomers, has to shift its message to the Boomer generation if it is going to gain traction. Instead of  “there are 50 Million of us and we don’t want to give up one measly cent” how about ” We are the largest block of voters in the history of this country. Work with us, talk with us, and let’s fix entitlements so they are there for us and for our kids.” AARP: rally the Boomers. Anyone who underestimates the power of the voice of the Boomer does so at their peril.

Prudential gets it (nearly) right

Finally! For at least ten years, advertisers have been trying to find an appeal for Baby Boomers that would get us out of our denial about the “R” word, and into some kind of savings or investment planning. They have tried threats–the elephant in the room that we are avoiding. They have tried strident appeals from fellow boomers such as Dennis Hopper–” You need a plan!”

Ameriprise

Ameriprise gets it wrong

Let’s face it, no one has gotten it right. Boomers don’t respond to fear, logical appeals, or threats from someone who claims to know more. They don’t feel helpless. They feel entitled. They are perennial optimists, driven by the belief that they are in charge, still important, and still are changing the world. So…this Prudential commercial hits exactly the right emotional tone…Boomers want to live forever, think they will, and believe it will all work out somehow. This is such a hopeful approach: a series of actual photos taken on the first day of retirement by a bunch of different boomers. The shots look cool, look real, and are very hopeful married up with inspirational not insipid music–no ’60s rock track redux. And the message is right on target: You are going to live a long long time! The “R” word is not “Retirement”…its “Rejoice”! It’s “Reinvent.” And yes, it’s “Revel”…in the simple beauty of the world, and every morning that you are going to see from here on out, till maybe forever. And yes, you’re entitled. Bravo, Prudential. One teensy thing I’d fix: take out the number. It should say, “one of the thousands and thousands of sunsets retirees will see….” Remember…We are going to live forever.