I have long since come to grips with the fact that television commercials aren’t directed at Baby Boomers. This, despite the fact that there are a hell of a lot of us out here, and we have a fair amount of disposable income. Many of us no longer have house payments, our grocery bills are significantly less than those of our children, and our clothing budget is more affordable because velour pantsuits don’t cost that much.
Having said that, it still flummoxes me that so many commercials totally escape me. Not only that, but so many of them take an annoyingly long time to even tell you what product they’re pushing. For example, there is a commercial that seemingly runs 20 times an hour, and every single time it catches my eye and ear. It is a lively commercial featuring hundreds of people wearing brightly-colored jumpsuits running together. Running running running. There is a catchy tune playing in the background. It isn’t until the very last few seconds — a full 60 seconds since those very in-shape people started running — that you learn that the commercial is for the new Apple iPhone. Why the people are running is never disclosed.
The problem is that I never remember what company has paid millions to run that commercial. Each time it plays, the tune catches my ear, but being a Baby Boomer, I can’t ever remember what’s being advertised. I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning. But as a person who spent years in a marketing-related position, it goes against everything I was taught. Get your name right up front, I learned. Your audience might give up if you wait too long.
I am reminded how often I can remember a commercial, but can’t remember the product. If it’s funny, I can usually count on it being a Geico commercial. (Speaking of Geico, isn’t it fun that they are running their old commercials? I forgot that Geico commercials were funny even before the lizard — er, gecko — became the star.)
I don’t think marketing folks give Baby Boomers enough credit. Those of us who forget which is the accelerator and which is the brake are not representative of the majority. Baby Boomers are gamers. Despite our inevitable aches and pains, we don’t give up. When our hips or knees fail, we just replace them. That’s why God invented Medicare.
I believe I have mentioned that Bill gave me a new computer for my birthday. Last week, I went to Best Buy and purchased the newest version of Microsoft Word. Despite the salesman assuring us that downloading it was a breeze — couldn’t be easier — a few hours later we were visiting Best Buy’s Geek Squad. As we waited for our technician with the assuredly non-Baby Boomer name of Stacy to become available, I took the opportunity to glance around at the others also waiting. Down to the very last person, we were Baby Boomers. I kid you not.
We grew up with typewriters that dinged when you came to the end of the line, signifying that it was time to manually move the roller. Our first television experiences were with black and white screens that were about a foot by a foot in a counsel that was bigger than a ’57 Chevy. We were stupified by transistor radios.
But see above. We are gamers. We are not about to let the fact that our new computers have touch screens and more memory than I even comprehend stop us. (Seriously, my new computer’s hard drive has a terabyte of memory, a word I was convinced Bill made up.) So while we have no idea how our computers work, we do know the way to get to Geek Squad.
We may not know why those folks are running, but we are the champions……of the world! Here are two really nice Baby Boomers…..
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