Marketing to the Grey Revolution

jittLast night during House, I saw an ad for a new (well, new since last summer) cellphone.  It’s called the Jitterbug.  The ad featured sepia-toned young couples, dressed in 1950s fashions, dancing the jitterbug.  The Jitterbug cellphone’s main feature is that it doesn’t have any features.

It hasn’t got a camera, it hasn’t got video, it hasn’t got an MP3 player, it hasn’t got an address book, or a world clock or games or complex settings to configure.  What does it have? 

GREAT BIG HONKIN’ BUTTONS.

It also has a loud speaker and a background noise reduction feature and a well lit, large screen with text that appears in a big font.  Who would these features appeal to?  Perhaps people with failing vision and hearing?  Perhaps people who came of age around the time the Jitterbug was a popular dance?

It’s no secret that our population is aging, but it seems to me that marketers are slow to respond to this shift.  Most of the the ad spend still goes toward the coveted male 29 to 40 demographic.  Shouldn’t we be trying to lock in loyalty with 60- and 70-somethings now and try and keep them ’til they croak?

A bar could do this now by eschewing loud music and mud-wrestling nights.  By being a place to have a pint and a chat instead of hooking up with a hottie or getting pie-eyed on Jager shots.  Maybe even start a subtle campaign to be the preferred location to host a wake?  Or is that too grim…

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