Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Packaging Myths And Realities About Women Older Than 50

I am always amazed when I see marketers advertising new products. From products touting various skin creams and anti-aging creams to the latest and greatest weight management program, the campaigns are larger than life. When will they understand that I want to look good for MY age and not the age I was 20 years ago? I am not trying to recapture my youth or be razor thin like a model. Today, most products' packaging simply does not identify with whom I am, how I see myself or embody the person I would like to be. Packages with 30-year-old models try to convince me that if I use their cream the reflection in my mirror will roll back 20 years. Get real, as if this would compel me to purchase this product.

I'm sure that out there somewhere is that perfect "niche" to which they are marketing AND selling. The question in my mind is who in the world is this? It certainly doesn't relate to me - an over 50 female who represents 50% of the world's population that is soon to be the largest demographic marketing segment. This market also has the money to spend and is willing to spend it for the right products.

Just who is it I represent? Women over 50 years of age are an underserved, unknown, and obviously underrated segment of the purchasing population. When was the last time an advertisement truly captured that demographic segment with compelling graphics and images it can relate too?

Marketers just don't get it. A daily dose of TV advertising will convince you that you are fat (seriously), your skin is wrinkled, you have yellow teeth, and you need a push-up bra. Where is the reality in that? I've been there and loved every minute of it, but now I am at an age in my life when much of that "hype" really doesn't matter to me. I am comfortable with who I am. I don't think I am fat, my laugh lines show character, my teeth shine when I smile and just give me a comfortable bra!

Recent ads from Dove and Nike are coming close to getting the marketing message about 50+ women. I loved the thunder thighs and big butts connotations because they are getting closer to our reality. The truth is the images and marketing messages on most packaged products fall short of attracting the female +50 market's attention. The packages don't drive the market to connect with the product and compel them to buy it.

I'm ready to spend money, so where are the products that I crave? I can't buy clothes without looking like Little Bo Peep or worse, Cher. I can't buy cosmetics without outlandish colors. I don't want to be reminded every five seconds that I'm not the slim 25 year old I used to be. It is as if they think we are no longer attractive since we have passed the big 50.

I don't need a push up bra. I need things that make me feel good, applaud me for my success in life, and keep me grounded to the fact that I'm not old, senior, golden, aged or any other similar nomenclature. I'm at the half way point in my life with lots of dynamic years left. Give me products that support that vision. Put them in packages that I can read the type and actually open without assistant and you got me hooked. So get real marketers. I have money to spend. Create something that resonates with me then and I will buy it.


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