The Great Ignored: How the Media Industry Fails to Embrace the Megatrend of Aging

By Doug Lloyd, Katharine Hoskyn and Richard S. Buddle.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 4, 2014 $US5.00

The importance of the “Third Age” (60+ years) demographic in society has been well established for some time. Yet the opportunity presented by the exponential growth of this high-spending segment is being mostly ignored. The advertising/media industry in the western world still continues to favour the use of younger age groups in media and creative planning. This paper investigates the attitudes of executives in the media industry towards age and aging. Literature and data demonstrate the current trends in the targeting of marketing communications. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with communication practitioners to identify attitudes towards the “Third Age” demographic; and to understand what influences the industry to target younger people in the media planning/buying for products and services with a broad age profile. The small-sample, qualitative phase assisted in the preparation of an online survey with a global sample of communication practitioners in the advertising/media industry. Results show discrimination and lack of recognition of the “Third Age” demographic. The reason for this discrimination relates to the media planning/buying process. This research encourages the marketing communications industry to over-ride the effect of this limiting process in order to give greater recognition to the “Third Age” in the marketing of mainstream products and services.

Keywords: Ageism, Aging in Advertising, Target Markets, Media, Third Age

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.23-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 435.343KB)).

Doug Lloyd

Senior Lecturer, Marketing and Advertising, Faculty of Business and Law, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Katharine Hoskyn

New Zealand

Richard S. Buddle

Marketing Communications Consultant, New Zealand