Did you know that “older” consumers hold trillions of dollars in spending power and that number continues to rise? That’s right those aged 50 and over hold a significant amount of America’s spending power however, marketing efforts seem to continually exclude this 50 and over age demographic. New reports detail that those aged 50 and over only account for 15% of media campaign targets and of that 15% of media portraying older people, only half seem to accurately represent the group. The other half of that 15% often display images of older people unable to use technology, bound to their homes, and unemployed when in fact, this is not actually a reality for most older individuals. This marketing research may suggest, that the American perception and stereotypes imposed upon these older individuals are limited far beneath their actual abilities to lead full lives.

Think of the few ads you’ve seen yourself which featured an older individual, what was the context? Did they fall and need help getting up? Perhaps they were sad and distressed and in need of medication? The reality is many old people including your own grandmother know exactly how to use technology , often owning various smart gadgets, and also possessing the ability to seamlessly browse social media just as anyone else can. Most individuals over 50 also have yet to retire and are in fact employed spending various hours in the work place and other places other than their living room couch. Many older individuals enjoy travel, leisure, and fun just like you! So why are they not as represented in media and when they are, why are they hurt, clueless, or vulnerable? It would be interesting to see the media adjust their marketing efforts to more accurately represent this demographic. Give us some marketing that features those in the 50 and older age group playing sports, exercising, running businesses, and living non limited lives. The fact is as individuals age they inevitably get older however, they do not have to lose their identity.

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