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Why Women Over 50 Ignore Advertising

J.Walter Thompson’s London Innovation Group released a recent report on the lifestyles and attitudes of British women between the ages of 53 and 72 (the baby boomers). A whopping 72% of this group of women over 50 say they don’t pay attention to advertising. Why, you might ask?

The survey answers they received will come as no surprise to us prime women. We’ve been complaining about how we are marketed to for years now and it seems no one is listening. Let’s start with the obvious problem we have for advertising aimed at women over 50.

81% of women polled said they did not recognize themselves in advertising supposedly targeted at their generation.

We couldn’t agree more. The most common feedback we receive at Prime Women is, that while we try to feature women our age in most of our pictures, the clothes we show from retailers, invariably, are being modeled by a skinny, 20 something year-old. How are we to visualize what the clothing item would look like on us?

Another statistic that will not surprise you is that 90% agreed with the statement ‘I’m not going to start dressing in beige just because I’m over 50 now.’

Over two thirds (69%) thought the fashion industry ignores people their age and 82% think that the clothes that are aimed at them are “way too old-fashioned.” 

We would also add that we women over 50 will continue to wear whatever we want as long as it looks good on our bodies. Forget age appropriate. We have redefined what our ageless generation will wear.

Fashion advertising wasn’t the only area that women over 50 complained about. Women over 50 are sick of the negative stereotypes about them when it comes to technology. Seventy-three percent say they hate the way their generation is patronized when it comes to technology and…

78% express no desire to buy technology that is especially designed for older people.

And while we are complaining, I would also like to add my complaint about J. Walter Thompson London dubbing us the “elastic generation.” Their reasoning is that they see us women over 50 as “stretched in every direction, but refusing to be bent out of shape.” While I suppose that is true, the word “elastic” does not conjure up a pretty picture of our age group. At Prime Women, we prefer the term “ageless generation.” After all, while our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and situations is definitely one of our characteristics, it doesn’t define who we are.  On the other hand, the term “ageless generation” speaks to all aspects of our lives, from our careers and ability to reinvent ourselves as we enter our second acts, to our fashion sense and commitment to looking and feeling our best, no matter our chronological age.

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