The allure of triangles and pyramids
Let’s face it, Americans over 50 love triangles and pyramids – after all, we were imprinted with them early on; the number three is embedded in our psyche.
In 1960s, ’70s and ’80s developing young minds were inundated with pyramids and triangles. Some were seductive, some were mystical and some were just plain scary.
There was the infamous Los Angeles Pyramid Party scam of 1980 – a kind of early social networking phenomenon – which, until it was busted by The Man, went viral to the point that get-rich-quick attendees caused traffic jams on the freeways (HT Steve Sailer blog).
Inside a pyramid, we learned, razor blades would spontaneously sharpen, food would be preserved and spiritual energy would channel the wisdom of the ancients. Thanks to Mythbusters, we now know better.
So let’s not even get into conspiracy theories that swirl around the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill. The government has an all-seeing eye? C’mon now, really.
Of course, the granddaddy of them all is the Bermuda Triangle. Coined in the 1960s, the term quickly passed into Boomer-speak, spawning magazine articles, books, TV shows and movies for decades.
Bounded by Miami, Florida, and the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico, the triangle is the last known whereabouts of countless missing persons whose boats and aircraft mysteriously disappeared without a trace.
The usual suspects are extraterrestials or the ghosts of long-dead pirates. Pirates? OK, OK, all together now: aargh!
But there’s a far more plausible explanation; it’s Madison Avenue! We’re sure of it because they have already admitted to “disappearing” millions of Americans over 50.
Madison Avenue disappears 300,000 Americans every month
Over four million Gen Xers celebrate their 50th birthday in 2015. Which, as we have posted before, means they are disappearing from mainstream brand advertising at the rate of around 300,000 a month.
Yes, Madison Avenue spirits them away, never to be seen again.
Because, after 50, “old” consumers slip into the silent fog of the Boomer Triangle, where, supposedly, they drift along in nostalgic reverie, no longer targeted …
- They are bad for brand image: they scare off the kiddies.
- Unable to tell Snapchat from a chapstick, they are no longer cool.
- They cannot adapt to new brands, or change behavior. So why bother?
Venturesome Millennials rethink the Boomer Triangle myth
The gulf between fact and fantasy is costly: America’s most affluent market – and, after a lifetime of embracing change, also America’s most adaptable – is the 50+ demographic. Far from a niche market, these are the people who purchase half of all new cars and consumer package goods sold in the U.S. and account for a third of PC tablet/iPad sales.
Happily, some daring young disruptives have begun to realize the old myths are wrong. Rather than a murky dead pool, the 50+ market is actually the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The lucky Saint Paddy’s Day shamrock turns out to be the Boomer-Plus Generation™ – Baby Boomers and their sisters and brothers born 1940-1945 – that owns over 70% of U.S. household net worth and represents the world’s 3rd largest economy.
Click and learn to triangulate generational marketing.