In 2021, the first of the 78 million Baby Boomers turned 75, and by 2030, those 65 and older will account for 20% of the U.S. population. Although seniors control 70% of disposable income and make 50% of all consumer purchases, most current marketing campaigns devote less than 10% of their budgets to this vital and vibrant market!
It is imperative that the strategic communication professions take note of this oncoming silver tsunami and learn to make the most of it. This supplementary textbook, suitable for both undergrad and graduate students, explains how longevity has affected and must continue to affect marketing and advertising practices. While students rarely gear their professional paths towards elderly markets, engaging with the senior sectors can lead to an incredibly rewarding and successful career.
In addition to 25 exclusive interviews with professionals working with seniors, the book features
Anne M. Cooper worked for 10 years full time as a journalist, magazine editor and public relations practitioner before beginning a 26-year teaching career at Ohio University. During that career, she was the graduate director at the E.W. Scrips School of Journalism. A Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Japan and a DAAD scholar in Germany, she has written/coauthored/edited five previous books and numerous journal articles. Her work has been featured in the Sunday New York Times, on ABC-TV, the BBC and other media outlets.
Young Joon Lim is associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, where he teaches courses in mass media campaigns, theories of communication, research in communication, and public relations theory and practice. Lim has experience in insurance sales, news reporting, and public relations for the defense industry. He is author of Public Relations: A Guide to Strategic Communications.
Chapter 1: The Age of Aging
Part I: Working in SilverComm
Chapter 2: Professional Paths
Chapter 3: Practitioners' COVID Year
Part II: Advertising
Chapter 4: Seniors' Portrayals in Mainstream Magazine Advertising
Chapter 5: Medical Advertising’s Elder Appeals, Then and Now
Part III: Public Relations and Marketing
Chapter 6: Creating Effective Senior-Market Messages
Chapter 7: United States, Land of Retiree Options
Part IV: Current Issues
Chapter 8: Gender, Race and Sexual Orientation
Chapter 9: What's Ahead?
Appendix A: Sample Press Release from Leading Age
Appendix B: Media Portrayals
Appendix C: Resources for Research
This book illuminates a dark corner of the marketing arena—one which professionals need to take under advisement as quickly as possible. The ability and skill to address an aging population is a necessity in today's corporate, service, and non-profit environments. This book is filled with not just theory but practical applications to assist the in-house, agency, or consulting marketer.
In the age of aging, SilverComm—a term coined by the authors of this book—has tremendous opportunities while facing unique challenges. Based on firsthand information, these two seasoned scholars have presented us with a well-focused, in-depth, and reader-friendly book. Anyone with interest in gerontology advertising, communication, marketing, and/or public relations will find this timely volume engaging, refreshing, and enlightening.
Cooper and Lim have helped fill an important void in communications education and scholarship with SilverCom. The text combines rich data with personal interviews to shed light on the numerous—and often overlooked—professional opportunities in the older-adult consumer space and the rewards associated with this important work.