Age and Persuasion
“I think it’s very important that whatever you’re trying to make or sell, or teach has to be basically good. A bad product and you know what? You won’t be here in ten years.” -Martha Stewart
There’s a parody commercial, an older one, from Saturday Night Live where Sam Waterston represents ‘Old Glory Insurance’. The commercial sells supplemental ‘robot insurance’ for seniors. ‘I’m Sam Waterston of the popular TV series law and order. As a senior citizen, you’re probably aware of the threat robots pose. Robots are everywhere and they eat old people’s medicine for fuel.’
It’s hilarious but also poignant and, as with a lot of satire, cuts to the core of an issue in a way that only satire can.
Senior consumers and our elderly affluent clients and prospects control 70% of the country’s wealth and are obviously targeted, but not with as much or as savvy advertising as you would think. Just watch a show geared to an older demographic (Wheel of Fortune or any of the daytime soaps come to mind) and notice the advertisements-denture cream, supplemental insurance (maybe not robot insurance, but other kinds which may or may not be superfluous), pharmaceuticals, pain killers, adult diapers-it’s all very ageist if you think about it.
There’s a reason advertisers gear more toward emotions because studies have shown that as we age, we become less attuned to rational, persuasive arguments and more into visual, subjective appeals. You’ll notice the ‘Old Glory Insurance’ parody is not at all geared towards reason, but towards emotions and a ‘better safe than sorry’ mentality and to fear (something our government has taken to heart, or in my mind, to an all time low, in the ‘global war on terror’ with a constantly elevated terror ‘threat’ no matter what the reality is.)
So how can we utilize this information with integrity and honesty? How can we ensure our affluent senior prospects, through emotion and visual means, that we actually do have their best interests at heart especially in a world that seems to want to take advantage of them?
First things first, your way ahead of the competition.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland