Let’s Get Reacquainted, Mr. Boomer

July 30, 2012

By Gina Pagliaro

Our team collaborated with AdAge last month to discuss methods for understanding the male baby boomer (Dudes to Dads: U.S. Men’s Attitudes Toward Life, Family, Work, available for $249.00 from Ad Age Insights). And, although we approach mature markets from a behavioral perspective – monitoring the seasons of human life – we had to face a realization. Boomer males fly under the marketing research radar unlike the well-explored and developed persona of the female boomer. Newsflash, our male protagonist no longer maintains the outlook of the heavy-handed, breadwinner from the 1950s.

Who is the boomer male today?

Who is the boomer male today? Pictured: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men. (Image © American Movie Classics Company LLC)

This clearly isn’t a novel statement. We all know that women and men are taking on different societal roles. But as marketers, are we really considering these evolving characteristics, due to the changing zeitgeist, in our communications efforts? Read the rest of this entry »


What Steve Jobs taught me about “old” people and product development

September 12, 2011

By David Weigelt

With the formal resignation of Steve Jobs, quite a few stories are coming out of the woodwork about Apple’s iconic CEO. One of my favorite stories takes place early in Steve’s rise to stardom when he attended the birthday of a 9-year old celebrity. Steve’s gift to the young man was, what else, a Macintosh computer. As the story goes, Steve pulled the boy aside during the party to personally watch him open the gift. As he was showing the boy how to use his new computer, two “older” gentlemen came up behind them and starting oohing and ahhing. The two gentlemen, clearly impressed with what they saw as a work of art, started asking Steve questions for which he quickly dismissed them and returned his attention to the young boy. As it turns out, the two “older” gentlemen were Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. At the end of the night, Steve continued working with the young man long after the other guests had left. Later, when asked by a reporter why he was so much happier with the boy than the two famous artists, Steve’s response was, “Older people sit down and ask, ‘What is it?’ but the boy asks, ‘What can I do with it?”

Steve’s reply could easily lead you to believe that the billionaire boomer is ageist – and you may be right. But as we’re about to learn in Steve’s first authorized biography, Mr. Jobs is a complex man.

My personal Steve story takes place about two years ago Read the rest of this entry »

The Lost Art of Boredom

May 16, 2011

By Lisa S. Burroughs

I’m so bored!

We have all said that a lot as children, right before our parents shooed us outside to play or threatened us with housework to alleviate our condition.

When was the last time you were bored? I can say quite confidently that I have not been bored in years. Is this a good thing? With all the options for constant stimulation available to us, boredom has become an extinct creature that didn’t have a reason to exist in the first place, like that bird that couldn’t fly. Good riddance.

Digital activities like texting, checking your social networks, refreshing your RSS feed, reading email, playing games, and checking in at your current location have the power to fill every second of your day, including those seemingly wasted seconds between other tasks. I’m not going to give you hard statistics on how much time we spend online via our desktops, laptops or mobile devices because we all know it is way too much and it culminates to an overwhelming cacophony of noise and information known as digital overload (DO). Read the rest of this entry »

Brewing up a Mobile Application Strategy for Baby Boomers

January 17, 2011

By Ross Hollebon

Can the cult of coffee bean aficionados and brewing engineers help interactive developers and designers build a better mobile app for baby boomers? The 55–64 year olds (both trailing edge 18% and leading edge 13%) who make up 31% of the smart phone user base, certainly hope so.

A cup of coffee can be comforting and even necessary for someone starting their day. Some might confess they can’t even get through their day without a caffeine fix or two. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ageless Benefits of YouTube Captions

November 29, 2010

by Chris Boehman

Youtube, the world’s #2 search engine, has a powerful feature that many users don’t take advantage of: captions. Captions make your video available to more people (of all ages) in a lot of surprising ways, and benefit consumers and content creators alike. First, the obvious one: Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing More “To Be Determined” for Boomer Social Network

July 2, 2009

by David Weigelt

During the recent boom of websites geared toward baby boomers, TeeBeeDee was an outlier. But much like Barack Obama early in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, TeeBeeDee embraced its status and ran with it.

TeeBeeDee was founded by Robin Wolander, a former executive vice president of CNET and founder of Parenting magazine. She “had the idea for TeeBeeDee in the best year of my life — when I turned 50. I looked around at my amazing circle of friends and colleagues and thought about how much we learn from each other…And thanks to the Internet, we now have tools that help us learn from each other.”

The money behind TeeBeeDee (~$9 million) was nothing to scoff at. But my feelings on the site, and their recent decision to close their virtual doors, have nothing to do with the money and everything to do with their approach. They got it.

Read the rest of this entry »

2009 Generations Online Report

March 27, 2009

by David Weigelt

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released the 2009 version of its Generations Online report. As we suggest in our book Dot Boom, older generations are generally following suit with younger adults. Pew states, “Much as we watch demographic and age groups move up in degrees of access on our thermometers, we can probably expect to see these bars become more level as time goes on.”

A few takeaways include:

  • 70-75 year olds make up fastest growing segment of online users
  • Email most popular online activity for adults 64+ while email usage is waning for younger adults

Read the rest of this entry »

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