Silver Economy Rush! Future You Marketing – Award 1.

By no means do I write this lighthearted post to endorse a particular product. But if Change Rangers ever decided to be in the business of giving a Silver Economy marketing award for best fun and memorable ad campaign then where better to start than with the Wealthsimple – four video set.

Watching these videos took my mind back to the London Life Freedom 55 ads from the 1990’s, which by comparison look, well… you be the judge. But Freedom 55 started as a 1980’s campaign. In the same way as a London Life, Wealthsimple is speaking to a younger demographic in the “future you marketing” category.

Even before the 1980’s I recall two sales dudes from London Life coming to sell me an insurance policy when I was 21, and their presentation deck flipped over photos to my “future you” stepping off an airplane on vacation in the Caribbean with my “future you” silver haired wife. Of course it was insurance that would get me there, not a retirement investment plan. That sales pitch came later.

2030 Gen Y – Free at last?

If there is any further doubt that product marketers don’t see there is a rush to a silver economy, then all you have to do is see how organizations like AARP in the USA are celebrating the fact that the first Gen Xers turned 50 last year. Here comes 20 more years of marketing to that cohort. And while we’re at it, Wealthsimple also seems to be digitally banking on the fact, that by 2030, the first of the Gen Y cohort will be turning 50.

Trouble is that for a majority of marketers, even if they know there is a rush to a silver economy; they aren’t necessarily enlightened or equipped enough to make the journey through those demographic hills. First, the trouble often begins with not understanding the larger narrative of aging and longevity, to attain a smart sense of perspective and then spending the time to figure out how their product or service is addressing a need or want of a particular segment in a silver economy.

How should a marketer jump-start their silver economy thinking? Enter Silver Group Asia. Kim Walker gets it, and I once again highly recommend his stand out book Marketing to the Ageing Consumer co-authored with Dick Stroud in 2013. In this book, he outlines as the subtitle states, “the secrets to building an age-friendly business”.

Who really gets the first place award? Maybe it doesn’t score on all points, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the Wealthsimple videos. Apart from the clear, clever, colour creatives, the videos tell a simple crisp and fast short story with great wit; and the morphing into “future you” reminded me that you are pretty much connected to the “present you”.

Life is a journey, a continuum. As Silver Group enlightens on their web site, there are five universal truths to think about:

  • Physiological ageing is the only thing that all consumers have in common
  • Physiological ageing affects virtually all of the touchpoints in the customer journey
  • Touchpoints that satisfy the needs of older consumers work for all other ages
  • An outstanding Customer Experience requires all the touchpoints are age-neutral​
  • Creating an age-neutral Customer Experience costs no more than one that isn’t

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