This week The Gibraltar Group released the results of a study that indicates that Baby Boomers have given up on the economy ever recovering and continue to buy products that reflect their lack of hope and apathy toward the situation. While the study shows that younger generations prefer brands that mirror hope for the future, the Boomers simply don’t care about what’s going to happen since they will be dead in twenty years anyway.
The survey polled over 14 men and women between the ages of 57 and 75 to find out what drives them, if anything, to buy certain brands. Not surprisingly, the results show that Boomers don’t really think about much at all when making a purchase, except for how expensive and complicated things are these days. The study also proves that any optimism their generation may have been born with went out with the Reagan years.
“Apathy and cynicism aren’t just for the unemployed and tweens with chips on their shoulders,” says Gibraltar’sChief Marketing Director, Ann Graves, “The notion that the older we get, the crankier we get stands true, and companies need to remember that if they want to boost sales. Why not tap into that pessimism and target indifferent retirees with money to spend instead of wasting time on the optimistic shoppers who would rather go vote or protest some injustice than stand around in KMart and complain about the long lines?”
In addition to buying products that reflect their inner-doomsayers, Baby Boomers indicated that they would like to see more “traditional” or “curmudgeon” values reflected in ads and commercials. 68% would like to see more stay-at-home moms in TV commercials, along with more celebrities smoking cigarettes, and 95% want less mixed-race couples, less minorities, and fewer jokes about Elvis.
All survey participants answered, “Yes,” to the question, “Would you like to see more Gay couples represented in ads?” but the question was ultimately thrown out when researchers realized that the participants thought it meant “happy” couples.
54% wrote, “There are no free lunches,” when asked to check which lunch coupon they would like for participating, and the other 56% gave a mixture of responses, including one that read, “I don’t know what Kosher means, and I don’t care to know.”
Finally, when asked if they would like to see more environmentally-friendly products, 8% of Boomers wrote “N/A,” 21% answered with, “What’s the environment ever done for me?” and the remaining 71% said they could care less about saving the environment for their spoiled, ungrateful grandchildren or their worthless parents who couldn’t even teach them to send a thank you note for the all the expensive presents they got last Christmas.
CEO and Founder of The Gibraltar Group, Jasmine Gibraltar, says that these findings could mean major adjustments for marketing companies. “Marketers need to really ask themselves if they are tapping into the generation’s inherent apathy and pessimism. Are they offering enough ads that take Boomers back to the old days of inequality and false hope?”
Gibraltar also argues that this kind of thinking could actually help businesses save money as well. “I mean, just think of all the donation money they could save if they didn’t have to pretend to care about social causes or the environment anymore.”
Amazon.com, one of Gibraltar’s largest clients, said in a recent press release that the study has very little impact on the Fortune 500 company, since most old people don’t use computers and wouldn’t even know how to order products online if they did. However, the article also reports that Amazon’s marketing team plans to replace the arrow that looks like a smile on the current logo with a new design that would simply turn the upside down frown into a regular frown, and include Amazon’s new slogan: “If you don’t care, neither do we.”