To that point, YouTube isn’t necessarily a platform you associate with a 50+ audience. If I’m a brand targeting this demographic and I’m not investing heavily in digital marketing, am I making a mistake?
Yes, the 50+ audience is much more tech savvy than a lot of marketers give it credit for. Most people don’t realize how multichannel and multi-device this audience is.
We take it as our responsibility to lead the way in showing marketers that this audience is online and wants to be reached that way. If marketers don’t understand that, they’re missing a big opportunity to build relevance with a demographic that accounts for 51 cents of every dollar spent by people over 25 in the U.S.
This is only going to become truer in the next few years. Take Gen Xers, who everyone knows are engaged online. What most marketers may be forgetting is that the oldest Gen Xers are 53.
Have digital platforms replaced or added to your traditional marketing strategies?
Shipley: We’re looking for ways to bring the online and offline worlds together to get more views, more shares, and more chatter. So this is not about replacing analog with digital. We’re instead attempting to blend the two so they reinforce one another.
For example, after this year’s Super Bowl, we worked with Grey New York on creative and Mediacom on media to run a 30-second spot featuring Grammy-winning spoken word poet J. Ivy. We wanted an ad that would surprise people and really challenge some of the stereotypes of aging. The spoken word approach was perfect for that.
But what we really loved was the flexibility it gave us to try out new lengths and varieties of creative. We dedicated a full day to shooting made-for-digital creative, which gave us six-second and 15-second versions we could experiment with.
We’re already seeing the approach pay off. For example, our six-second and 15-second AARP ads on YouTube have combined to deliver a 13% lift in brand favorability and a 22% lift in ad recall among people age 45–64 recognize that they’re in an exciting, dynamic time of their lives.
It’s an optimistic crowd.
Sometimes marketers make assumptions about this audience because they’re thinking of their grandma. Soon they’re going to realize, “Oh wait, I’m marketing to myself.