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High50 Public Relations Retail

The 'misunderstood demographic': Only four per cent of adverts targeted towards over 50s


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

June 19, 2014 | 3 min read

Over fifties believe only four per cent of adverts are targeted at them meaning brands are missing out on a powerful market, according to research by High50.

81 per cent of over fifties felt positive about their age

Speaking to 1305 people between the ages of 50 and 64, the study, in partnership with Research Now, challenged misconceptions about over fifties also known as the 'misunderstood demographic'.

In spite of having more free time and substantial capital, brands frequently fail to target over fifties, two thirds of whom believe that brands are either ‘not at all’ or ‘barely interested’ in them, the study found. A further quarter believe that brands are ambivalent towards them.

One fifth said that they were completely excluded from brand marketing.

Some brands do speak to over fifties, the report found. M&S topped the list with 55 per cent agreeing that it did talk to them directly, followed by John Lewis (38 per cent) and the BBC (31 per cent).

However, over fifties felt they were most poorly targeted by technology firms Apple and Samsung with 95 per cent feeling they didn’t target them at all, despite a fifth saying they can’t live without a smartphone and computer technology, and over half saying they enjoy it.

Youtube performed the worst, only three per cent of respondents believing it was branded towards them.

James Burrows, CEO of High50, said: “High50’s study highlights a vast disunity between advertiser’s targets and those with any spending power. A stunning 67 per cent of those with children aged over 21 still living at home support them financially, yet our most economically powerful generation is one that is largely ignored by advertisers.

“It is clear that existing preconceptions about the over fifties is significantly out-dated, and it’s time we acknowledged that for many, becoming 50 is the start of the better half of their lives.”

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