The Wrinkly Ambassador
Every now and then I get an email.
Well, actually I get lots of emails and they can keep their Viagra, their Russian brides and their Nigerian millions, but some mails are genuine and quite often they are looking for my expertise.
I get mails from publishers wanting me to write a book [well, OK – that only happened the once, but once was enough] and I get mails from people wanting to interview me.
For some reason that escapes me, they seem to think I am an ambassador for the Wrinkly Generation.
One of those mails plopped into my in-box this morning. It was from a scribe with whom I have done business before. Actually, I don’t ever get paid for this so maybe “business” is the wrong word? Doing freebies with someone doesn’t have quite the same ring about it though, and it does conjure up some rather disturbing images.
He posed a rather interesting question. He wanted my opinion on advertising that targets the over 50s market.
IF you know me at all, you will realise there is a problem here. I don’t have any truck with advertising so I haven’t a fucking clue whether I am being targeted or not.
There are only a few areas where I am aware that I am being stereotyped.
There are a few web sites here in Ireland which I won’t mention [no names – no pack drill] that make me squirm a bit. They are aimed squarely at us old folk to cast off that blanket over our knees and to try to get us away from our games of bowls and bridge. They invariably take the line that we should politely ask our grandchildren how to switch on a computer and to set us up with a blog so we can share our knitting patterns and tell tales of The Good Old Days. I don’t know why they always assume we know fuck all about computers and the Interweb? Who do they think invented the fucking things?
You may remember that I recently changed my mobile phone and one of the choices was a yoke that looked like a television remote control with very large buttons and fuck all else. This was advertised [though they didn’t quite put it into these words] that it was ideal for those of us with only two brain-cells left, with clumsy fingers and failing eye-sight and the ability to make a call with the absolute minimum of button pushing so that we couldn’t fuck up the act of making a simple phone call. Just to prove ‘em wrong I got one of those little glass ones with no keyboard and a couple of brilliant little programmes on it so that I can hack into other people’s wireless broadband and surf the Interweb wherever I am. Fuck them and their big buttons.
Saga Holidays are of course famous. They always appealed to me on one hand as they implied there would not be any kids on those holidays. Other people’s rug rats are not my idea of joy. On the other hand, they always seem to take place on cruise liners and that leaves me stone cold. The idea of being stuck in a steel box for a couple of weeks with a crowd I would probably not get on with gives me the shivers. It’s bad enough being stuck on the ferry to France for eighteen hours.
So help me out here.
Am I missing something?
Are they targeting us Old Folk to try to get our hard earned cash off us [Apart from that shower of bastards in the Gubmint that is]?
What’s your opinion?
Definitely trying to part you from your cash. No bout adoubt it!!
Ah! But apart from the gubmint, who and how?
Many and varied scams go on as I’m sure you know.
I think that a lot of “scammers” target the over 50’s because they believe they are not in full control of the old grey matter.
Ah! You mean the emails? Fishing [or Phishing as those who can’t spell call it]?
There are also phone scams.
That’s true but neither is targeted at the old elderly aged senior mature. They just use a scatter-gun approach and haven’t a clue about the demographic of their victims.
Really what I am on about is the deliberate marketing towards the 50 plus generation, presumably on the basis that we are all loaded.
Well there was a program on the Beeb last week about burglar alarm salesmen (same applies to double glazing and the like) using pressure tactics on older people to deliberately over price their products.
Not the advertising you refer to but in the same genre – if you’ll excuse the comparison.
Young sales persons in particular think the older generation are easily duped so perhaps this advertising is all dreamt up by the smart young advertising bods and not mature folk. Just a thought.
“little glass ones with no keyboard and a couple of brilliant little programmes on it”
I have one of those, great fun but if I forget to take my reading glasses with me I can’t actually use it. Bit frustrating really.
Ah! Salesmen! Nothing like ’em. The last time I bought a laptop the sales bloke spent about twenty minutes explaining [in words of one syllable] why I had to buy Norton Anti-virus to trap all those nasty little things called viruses which populate the Interweb. I let him waffle as he obviously thought he was doing his bit to educate. Then I told him I didn’t want Norton as I was going to wipe the system and put in Linux instead. It literally left him open-mouthed.
I confess I am prone to putting on a blank face for young salesmen, and blokes who call around telling me that my roof needs fixing or whatever. I gotta have something to amuse me in my dotage?
Woodsy – Did the salesman not try to push a whacking great magnifying glass with it? He missed a trick there.
At 56, it seems to me that NO advertising is aimed at me at all. Nobody wants what’s left of my money because they have nothing I need. I don’t want to sign an eighteen month contract in return for a (so-called) free phone, I don’t want a fast car with the penalty points and speed limits in place and I don’t want to eat my food out of buckets either. I cannot be sold a lifestyle because I already have one I’m content with, and I do not want any kind of new image because I don’t want to appear as something I am not and don’t want to be other than I am. The ad-man is fucked when it comes to this lump of mature Irish male. And it gets worse for snake oil salesman because I pretty much have everything I need and have done almost all I ever wanted to, except have sex with two women at the same time and they don’t advertise that locally and I am unwilling to travel for the experience, and I may not be up to it anyway.
John – A totally contented person, huh? Fair play. Incidentally, with regard to the “and I may not be up to it anyway” bit, I have a few email addresses that may help in that department if you’re interested?
Apparently statistically we Over-50’s (in my case considerably ‘over’) are an affluent crowd. We have paid off our mortgages and have plenty of disposable income. Don’t know where WE went wrong!!!
We’re trying to scrape together enough to buy a woodburner to save on the central heating oil. The cost has tripled since we came out here 4 years ago and we just can’t afford to run the boiler any more.
Meltemian – “an affluent crowd” So our gubmint keeps telling me [and I keep telling them they are an effluent crowd]. I don’t know where these ideas come from. I have been putting off firing up the heating as long as possible as it would be cheaper to fuel the boiler with liquid gold. I suppose as we have no bosses, we have no one to complain to about crap income, so they all assume we are happy and loaded?
“have done almost all I ever wanted to, except have sex with two women at the same time and they don’t advertise that locally and I am unwilling to travel for the experience”.
What a floozy!
“Am I missing something?
What’s your opinion?”
You seem to still have all your marbles GD. 🙂
I don’t think you’re any wrinkly ambassador.. you probably know more about technological stuff than me, with your fancy phone and Linux OS and whatnot.
I wouldn’t pay any heed to the sterotypes.
Things are looking up Grandad watch the news Kenny is going to open a new link Ireland to UK creating 1 new job.
Anne – I’m quite happy to be a Wrinkly Ambassador, provided they don’t want me to be polite to heads of gubmint or any of that protocol shit. I’m also very happy to knock a few holes in the stereotype image, when and where I can.
Peacock – With all due respect to the man [and I sincerely wish him luck as the RNLI is an excellent cause] but does he realise that the Irish Sea is one of the roughest in the world? The Bay of Biscay is in the ha’penny place in comparison. I cannot see that craft lasting very long so I hope he has an excellent support crew?
Personally I think Parky is a cunt for doing those ads about funeral insurance. What a bastard.
I crossed from Cork to Swansea on one occasion when the sea was like a millpond. The numerous other times – be it the Southern Crossings or further North have been choppy at best, horrendous at worst. The guy’s nuts to attempt it in a treadmill.
As for advertisers – they do seem to think we’re loaded! Our age group got shafted by the banks, etc with mortgages and packages to cover their payment (“And there’ll be a tidy amount left over for you to enjoy when it matures”, smirk, smirk) Ballocks there is – we’re probably in quite a size-able group of pensioners who still pay their mortgage dilligently each month and watch the crooked bankers stick two fingers up at us when they receive their millions in bonuses.
Dan – I don’t think I have seen that one. It’s probably not shown on the porn Discovery channels?
Cardi – Again, I don’t remember seeing any advertisements from the banks or lending houses. Maybe I have just developed a complete blind spot for all that rubbish?
I asked Herself last night if she knew of any ads directed at “The Older Generation” and the only ones she could come up with were the hair colourings for men and another for denture fixative. I had forgotten about those.