What ads are effective with the elderly and the youngsters
Precise targeting is essential for cutting the costs and increasing CTR — you know that already. However, what you may be overlooking is that various generations both use and bring value to the internet and online marketing in different ways, respectively. Some of them favor simplicity and respect, while others depend on the opinion of their peers. To make sure your campaigns deliver superior results, it is good to know who you are targeting and why. We will talk about the older and younger generations: their specifics, ways to attract them, and how to communicate with each of them, without going overboard.
Defining the generations
Before talking about specific categories, like Baby boomers or Gen-Z, we need to establish social generations first. We are going to focus on the Western world, because the countries of Western Europe, the Americas, and Australia follow, more or less, a similar generational pattern. While the rest of the world might differ slightly in terms of generational groups, the traditional, sociologically established definitions of age groups are as followed:
- The Greatest Generation (1901–1927)
- Silent Generation (1928–1945)
- Baby boomers, a.k.a. Boomers, (1946–1964)
- Generation X, a.k.a. Xers, (1965–1980)
- Generation Y, a.k.a. Millennials, (1981–1996)
- Generation Z, a.k.a. Zoomers, (1997–2012)
- Generation Alpha (2013–2023)
Considering our line of work, we ought to talk about only the most relevant generations, which span from 1946 up to 2005. The majority of the previous generations are either passed away or are not much into the internet, while Gen Alpha and, to some extent, Zoomers should steer clear from our niche in the first place.
Targeting the elder generations
The eldest category in our list — Baby boomers (1946–64) make up 73 million of people in the USA. They are many and lived through relatively safe and prosperous times, rendering them an economically active category. They don’t feel like getting old, so use that to your advantage — counter their fear of aging with nutra products. Replace any words like aged or old with more positive alternatives, e.g., experienced or interesting.
Baby boomers saw the widespread adoption of the internet long after their childhood, when they had already become quite conservative, meaning they are not as tech-savvy as younger generations. So settle for a direct and straightforward campaign flow. Boomers also favor classic ad formats because of their simplicity, hence you can go for display ads. They knew the hardships of life and are not as playful as younger generations. Take a “just business approach” — short messages, up to the point, few emotions, and no emojis.
Gen X (1965–80) value professionalism, independence, and their time. This is where the video format starts to gain traction, because it excels at delivering large chunks of information quickly. This is the definition of “killing two birds with a stone”, so follow-up campaigns work well for them. Once you have gained their loyalty, you can promote similar items on top of the product of choice. They might no longer be truly young, but that does not mean they are against having fun. How about offering them some special toys to try out?
Xers are a complex phenomenon: they take their time to research a product, but once they made up their minds — they are open for a shopping spree. Make sure to describe a product in depth and under the right, professional angle. Just add some comments from the experts to seal the deal. Empower everything even further via nostalgic feelings or appeal to comfort. Once the loyalty of Gen X is won, they prove to be very loyal, meaning better retention rate and more sales.
Targeting the younger generations
Gen Y (1981–96), a.k.a. Millennials are more community-driven — they didn’t live through the hardships of the previous generations, like an oil crisis or commodity shortages. Millennials are positive, want to feel useful & successful, and care for a healthy lifestyle.
They are active internet users, meaning they can easily filter the ads and content which they receive. So, settle for succinct CTAs, filled with emotional statements and classic emojis to help tell the most while saying the least 🤫 Their community-driven nature and resilience to ad bombardment give rise to social proof strategy. Use customer testimonials, pictures of real people, and community feedback in your creatives to make your products look more credible worthy, and full of clout. In terms of product selection, millennials are the most versatile. They are young, curious, and might be eager to try out literally everything.
Gen Z (1997–2005), a.k.a. Zoomers can only partially suit your marketing purpose, because not all of them are 18+. Gen Z are the children of some of the aforementioned groups. Zoomers are relatively inexperienced, emotional, active, in other words, gullible — an ideal portrait of the target audience.
The hearts and wallets of Zoomers can be won over if their friends like the product, if they see an ad frequently, or if the product caters specifically to their needs and preferences. Since they are young, health concerns are not for them, so gaming, iGaming, and just eCommerce will serve their needs well. Gen Z is also into emojis but of a different breed: 🍆💦
That’s all, folks. As a rule of a thumb, Boomers and Xers value simplicity and professionalism — just give them what they want, no running around. On the other hand, Millennials and Zoomers like to socialize and be entertained. They spend much more time on the internet, so you can give them a runaround, but make it fun with a feeling of community — use emojis and multi-stage funnels, with each stage being as simple as possible. Their attention span seems to be lower than that of previous generations. In summary, identify your target of choice, fine tune your campaign, and start generating profit — we will help.