Frank Moldstad is the only 50-something at a west coast digital marketing firm comprised almost entirely of 20-somethings. This is the ongoing story of his travails....
One of our clients has asked us for help in brainstorming ways to market a product aimed at 50-somethings. I have considerable expertise in this area, which the client and my co-workers lack, being Gen Yers. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But both the client and my millennial co-workers have some bizarre ideas about this project.
So, I must be the voice of reason when they all think that disco music and go-go dancers would be a perfect vehicle for the campaign.
"Like Studio 54!" says the client, who henceforth will be referred to as "the client."
"Um, that would probably turn off a lot of people my age," I say. "I know it doesn't appeal to me."
"But why?" says my cube-mate Evelyn. "Isn't that what you people did back then?"
"Yeah, a lot of people were into that back then," I say. "But this is now. It's backward-looking, and the product is kind of futuristic. Most 50-somethings — at least the ones we're trying to appeal to — aren't stuck in the past. Not that far back, anyway."
I realize their perceptions of my generation are skewed. That's okay, however, because my perceptions of their generation are most definitely skewed. Together, we should be able to unskew this.
"Well, maybe you're right," says the client. "What kind of approach would you suggest?"
"How about something that respects the target customer? Treat them like contemporary people. We could appeal to the early adopter in them," I suggest.
I have good ideas sometimes. Of course, that's a matter of opinion, as evidenced by the reaction I get.
"Well," says Erin, one of our account reps, "I certainly would not describe my parents as early adopters. Early adopters are like us, you know, Gen Y."
"I seriously doubt that anyone your age will be first in line for a product aimed at 50-somethings," I say.
"I kind of agree with Erin," says the client. "I'm a little uncomfortable with the early adopter angle. How about something with a good-looking older couple frolicking on the beach? With a voiceover that segues into the sales pitch."
"I like that!" says Marci, our 30-something boss.
"But, that's like a Viagra commercial or something," I protest.
"Exactly," says the client.
"We could have Bee Gees music!" says Ringo, one of our salespeople.
"That would be great!" says Marci.
Clearly, I have lost this one. Sometimes, you have to know when to fold 'em, as the hit Kenny Rogers song reminded us. Come to think of it, that was right around the disco era, wasn't it? Well, I never liked that song anyway.