Diversity Should Include Those Who Are 50-Plus

by Paul McDonald | Feb 10, 2023 | Media

With all the hype today about diversity in advertising, I recently found a statistic that shows me that today’s “diversity” is more hype than reality: while the 50-plus demographic makes up approximately 50 percent of all consumer purchases, only about 10 percent of marketing dollars are spent to target this age group. I have seen articles talking about the importance of reaching Gen Z and Gen Alpha, but it’s rare to see anything written about targeting Baby Boomers. (Recently I saw an editorial in The Oklahoman that addressed this group; I have borrowed heavily from it for this blog.) We are still a force to be reckoned with because we have buying power.

The 50-plus demographic controls 75 percent of our nation’s assets and holds 70 percent of our country’s net worth. We own more homes than any other age group; we purchase 41 percent of all new vehicles, and we spend 74 percent more on vacations than those under 50.

We have more leisure time than younger age groups. And we like to spend that time on travel and other typical leisure activities, working out, and buying for our families. According to U.S. News and World Report, those 65 and up spend nearly seven hours a day on leisure activities. And it has been reported that we are spending more money on our health, appearance, and our social lives than any generation before us.

Statistics show that nearly one-third of us are separated, divorced, or widowed, and we have embraced the dating scene once again. And, although we were not raised in a tech world, we have embraced the Internet. One-third of us are considered heavy internet users with shopping being our second more prevalent online activity.

And we as a group are still going full steam ahead. Those 50 and over have the highest projected growth rate of all age groups. AARP reports nearly 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. And life expectancy has increased by 30 years over just this past century.

So, when you prepare your next advertising campaign, don’t forget to set aside some dollars to market to this demographic to have a truly diverse campaign.

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Paul McDonald
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