Vox Pop

Shoe manufacturer Van Dal and chocolate brand Just Brazils both claim to target the ‘over 45s’ (News, DW 13 March). But if 40 is the new 30, where does the ‘grey market’ start and is age a valid demographic to target?

‘Targeting an age group is a grey area in its own right, the young aspire to be more mature when it suits them, until they actually grow older and refuse to act their age, after that who wants to be told that they are officially old? Everyone should be either five,18, 25 or 58 years old. This way a lot of us can pretend to be 25 for a good while yet.’

Ben Stott, Creative director, NB Studio

‘Greys are another piece of marketing codswallop. I’m 53. Some joker sent me the Saga magazine. It was full cruise ads, deaf aids and silver haired wrinklies getting cheap insurance on their Rover cars. Not me at all. The moral is don’t target people by their age – it is an instant turn off. I’m still going to be a racing driver, professional boxer and international sex symbol. I also slipped a white lie in earlier, I’m actually 19.’

Richard Williams, Partner, Williams Murray Hamm

‘I’m with Coco Chanel, who said, “A woman has the age she deserves”. Overt age targeting is often irrelevant and potentially patronising. It’s attitude that counts.’

Mary Lewis, Creative director, Lewis Moberly

‘While demographics provide a macro guideline, they need to be enriched with meaning to inspire action. In the field of product innovation, inventing tomorrow’s products will increasingly require us to include the middle age spread. In recent studies we have found that life stage and need states are more helpful than age or labels when trying to understand consumer behaviour and emerging opportunities.’

David Humphries, Director of design strategy, PDD

‘The “have you sorted your will’ ads depressingly demonstrate that there is still relevance in targeting age groups. I used to laugh at them, now they make me slightly uncomfortable. In time I’ll come to realise they are eminently sensible. I’d like to believe that we’re getting harder to pin down after the age of 40 (I’m 41), but I believed that at 20 and 30 and it wasn’t true then either. If you shave your head you can avoid the “grey market” issue. I have a feeling it starts around 60 though – I find making it sound far away comforting. Wouldn’t Just Brazils get stuck in your dentures?’

Tony Brook, Creative director, Spin

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