This weekend my neighbour happily told me he was 5-1/2! Since I know his birthdate, a quick mental calculation confirmed that by-golly he was absolutely right – up to the very day. I replied ‘believe it or not, I also was once 5-1/2’, he then asked ‘once upon a time?’….
Yes – once upon a time – yet I remember it as clear as yesterday – counting days, months, and years for those landmarks to arrive – 5 (going to school), 16 (drivers licence) 17 (high school graduation). The last landmark was 20, instigated by Neil Young’s song Sugar Mountain – admittedly not one that I looked forward to because that one was the ‘big 3-0’.
According to my birth year, I am a Baby Boomer. The boom started after the end of WW II – by the time I was born a decade had already gone by. Those of the booms 1st decade cast long shadows on us both good and bad. The birth of rock and roll and civil rights – the loss of job security and trust in our governments. We became and still are quite a skeptical group.
We grew up with real food, stay at home moms, black & white TV, and a senseless war. We didn’t grow up with technology – we watched it unfold.
In Canada there are a reported 9,880,000 Baby Boomers – almost 75% of them (7,227,000) are 50-64 years of age!! In comparison there are a reported 8,240,000 18-34 year old Millennials.
Advertisers cannot afford not to look at the 50-64 year olds for our own merits and buying power – we have a lot of it. Having not just our own personally accumulated wealth but also the wealth left behind by our parents- known as the Lucky Few. We are one of the wealthiest groups ever. We not only support ourselves but our children – the Millennials – many of them still live at home.
We still consume a lot of traditional media – more that 60% of us are medium-heavy users of each TV, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers. We also use the internet, perhaps not as much as Millennials, who cannot fathom a life without the internet – nevertheless you can find us on the net (55% of us are medium-heavy users). Just don’t look for us on the net via mobile devices we are late mobile ‘boomers’ – currently only 35% of us use a mobile device to access the internet. Maybe it’s because we don’t really find the need to be tethered to something 24/7/365. At the same time, we do love our tablets and statistics show penetration of tablet ownership to be as strong as with Millennials.
One thing for sure: a balanced media selection that includes digital, is needed to reach Baby Boomers because we are still tuning and consuming!