Improved communication constitutes one of the threads needed for mending the rift between those individuals responsible for advertising and Boomers. To bridge the apparent generational divide and begin to craft commercials that connect with Boomers requires clear, constructive communication (Derrick and Walker). Goals for messages advertised in commercials or other means also need to be clear. One primary motivation for Boomers, as well as for younger generations is the belief that they, along with their contributions matter (Derrick and Walker). When businesses and advertising creatives focus on similar missions and visions, this contributes to the realization that differences between younger generations and Boomers need not divide them. Instead as these differences are challenged, they can be surmounted.
For Generations Currently Shop in the U.S.
Currently, conceivably for the first time in U.S. history, four generations of individuals live, work and shop in American communities. Consequently, four generations serve as potential consumers for businesses. These generations, according to Slahor (2007), consist of: (a) the Millennials, (b) the Generation Xers, - the Boortiers, also known as Boomers and "Zoomers" ("Grabbing Zoomer Business,"2007, p. 56), and (d) the Matures.
As these four generations work, live and shop side by side in communities, each one, however, possesses its own unique history and values. Along with reflecting their age differences, communities of multigenerational individuals also mirror differences in attitudes relating to products, as well as the advertisements promoting them. Derrick and Walker (2006) stress: "While it is easy to over-generalize the similarities among individuals in comparable age ranges, recognizing overall patterns of differences between generations can be instructive" (¶ 3).
Derrick and Walker also note that: "the common denominator among the generations is emphasis on and communication of a core set of values" (Conclusions section, ¶ 1), one area that may alienate or connect generations. The following figure (3) depicts the birth years of these four groups of generations.
Figure 3: Four Generations Currently Living in the U.S. (adapted from Slahor, 2007, ¶ 1)
Common Generational Denominators
Younger, middle and older generations appear to relate to environmental concerns. As a result of responses from all generations, positive progress has been made during recent years in reducing threats to the environment. According to Christensen (1995), some individuals now even question: "Should we continue to be environmentally proactive, working to anticipate regulation and shape creative new solutions? Or can we go back to the old ways" (Baby Boomers still... section, ¶ 3)?
Discounting environmental concerns at this time, Christensen contends could prove to be a problem. What is done in regard to the environment still makes a difference. Now, as well as in the future, environmental matters will continue to be a vital role in basic business decisions, including advertising. Businesses and creatives who fail to acknowledge the value of environmental matters risk potential, future, unnecessary complications (Christensen).
Another connection with Boomers and other generation might consider appears to be in active lifestyles. In 2002, compared to 1988; Boomers had begun to participate in more active endeavors such as "weightlifting, playing basketball, and playing videogames" (Harris, p.81). The number of Boomer who engaged in aerobic exercise, hiking and backpacking had increased more than 100%, while participation on more sedentary activities such as card playing only slightly increased. Harris, nevertheless, notes the contradiction that surfaces regarding Boomers' reported increases in more vigorous activities. The Boomers "want to be healthy, but not if they have to work too hard at it" (p.82). The desire to be healthy, but preferring not to have to work excessively hard to attain results, may not be limited to Boomers. Another area Boomers and other generations have in common, according to Elliott (2004) is that: "People have a love-hate relationship with advertising" (Smith, as cited in Elliott, ¶ 5). Individuals in each generation, according to the 2004 survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners, expressed concerns regarding advertising's increasing obtrusiveness (Elliott). Fifty-four participants of the 2004 survey revealed they would refuse to purchase products "that overwhelm them with advertising and marketing" (Elliott, ¶ 6). Sixty percent of the Yankelovich Partners survey reported that compared to several years ago, they currently have a less favorable opinion of advertisements. Sixty-one percent or participants reportedly felt that the current barrage of and marketing efforts and advertising businesses and creatives target them with is "out of control" (Elliott, ¶ 6). Ultimately, 65% of the Yankelovich Partners survey noted they are continually bombarded with excessive advertisements; while 69% of these participants related they with consider purchasing services and/for products to help avoid advertisements (Elliott). In the midst of their diversities and similarities, a number of ways exist for those in younger generations, as well as Boomers, to address the rifts between them, that frequently materialize in advertisements. Two of the various generations perceived differences include the values of enthusiasm, which the youth appear to possess more of, and experience, a trait commonly attributed to Boomers. Derrick & Walker (2006) stress that those in the younger generations need to demonstrate respect for the experience and knowledge and those in the Boomer generation possess. In the advertising sphere, the younger generations do not have to "muzzle their creativity"(Derrick & Walker, Harmonizing Enthusiasm section, ¶ 1) but do need to make a point to acknowledge that Boomers not only have likely experience much more than they in their lives, but that they currently possess significant insights.
Toossi (2002) stresses that "Consumer demand is the main force behind the U.S. economy detailed occupations" (¶ 5). The buffeting force Boomers project toward the economy confirms the need for businesses and creatives to take note and invest in knowing what Boomers want and/or need. As those who create commercials pay the price to better understand Boomers, they, in turn, can better craft their advertising methods to connect with the generation that controls 70% of the wealth in the U.S., and 50% of the country's discretionary spending (Carpenter). Instead of investing only 5% (Carpenter) of their advertising budgets to connect with Boomers, those who better understand what makes them who they really are, would also, perhaps perceive that investing more effort and advertising dollars into connecting with this group would more than like return a profit.
During this DRP's third chapter, the researcher related contemporary perceptions and a number of misconceptions relating Boomers.
This chapter also highlighted a number of wants and needs Boomers project. At the end of this chapter, the researcher explored a number of ideas for businesses and creatives to consider that conceivably could help them better relate to Boomers. The next chapter, chapter four, relates a number of tactics and strategies cell phone service providers, as well as, creatives in the advertising industry who serve Boomers, can utilize to best connect with Boomers' to win their allegiance for advertised products and/or services.
CHAPTER IV: Advertising to Boomers
For this chapter, chapter four, the researcher explores more of the information retrieved during this DRP's literature review to answer this DRP's second question: What tactics and strategies can cell phone service providers, as well as creatives in the advertising industry who serve them, utilize to best connect with Boomers to win their allegiance for advertised products and/or services? This chapter also notes the anticipated, increasing demand for telephone services projected for the future. Themes explored during this study's segment include: (a) tactics and strategies utilized in the advertising industry; (b) Ways to connect with Boomers in advertising; - Winning Boomers' allegiance.
Tactics and Strategies Utilized in the Advertising Industry Nyren notes the following points regarding the advertising industry that "Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals" (p. 127). One valuable tactic advertising creatives and cell phone service providerscan utilize to convey their messages is the inclusion of facts, retrieved from credible research. Talent, however, according to Nyren constitutes another vital component of advertising. In fact, Nyren states: "Our business needs massive transfusions of talent. And talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels (p. 70)." Basically, advertising strategies are not to be limited to business as usual, yet, the business of advertising needs to be tuned in to not only its own concerns, but also in to the businesses it represents. According to Nyren, advertising creatives and businesses have to use judgment in creating advertisements. Adveritsments, written and filmed, need to relate the message from "from one human being to another human" (p. 108), as real as possible; as personal as possible; in an interesting manner. Some advertisements, Nyren explains, evolve from an individual's personal experiences. In fact, Nyren considers the best ad evolve from individuals' experiences, that real experience contribute to advertisements' messages coming across as true.
Adequate Marketing Theory Needed O'Rourke (2004) points that despite a myriad of data and knowledge, currently available relating to marketing systems' operations, a…