Advertising ignores the over 50s. Despite what The Stable has been told, this must be affecting business. The over 50s in Australia are a larger chunk of the population than millennials. On the rare occasion that an older person appears in an ad, that older person is a stereotype. This is likely to be because most people in advertising are well under 50. Despite what The Stable has been told, data cannot tell you what it’s like to be over 50, nor what an over 50 thinks and feels.
Almost nine in 10 over 50s (86%) think advertising aimed at them needs to change. One third (31%) think it’s ageist, and 23% say it makes them feel ‘invisible’ by underrepresentation. This data comes from an online survey conducted with a sample of 2000 UK adults by PCP in February 2019.
30% say that models and celebrities are made to look younger than their actual age and 36% say that there’s too much emphasis on the downsides of getting older.
Over 50s app, Lumen, wants advertising to do something about it. So it has launched a campaign. A campaign in which three men and three women between 50 and 65 appear naked except for placards, which in the group image read, Do you see us now?. Individual slogans read Grey hair don’t care, Nobody puts Granny in the corner and It’s our time to be seen.
Advertising is affecting older people’s confidence. Of the over 50s who dislike advertising targeted towards them, 19% say they feel they can’t be themselves and one in ten 10% say that it makes them feel unattractive. Fashion was identified by over 50s as the sector that most gets them wrong (57%), followed by beauty (42%), health and wellbeing (36%) and travel and leisure (30%).
Charly Lester, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Lumen, commented, “The fact that almost 9 in 10 over 50s think that advertising aimed at them need to change should be a real wake-up call to the industry about the ‘everyday ageism’ all around us. Not only is it a case of underrepresentation, but heavily edited images are making older people feel like it’s not ok to be themselves.
“We’re calling on advertisers to reconsider how they portray older age groups, and show them for the attractive, funny and real people they are. Just because you’re aged 50+ doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy and have a little fun.”
The images will appear on billboards Australia from April 15 2019.