The Adland Tourist’s Guide To Boomer-World Etiquette

Let’s start in Latvia. Doesn’t everyone?

It’s always smart to know a little about a place before you visit. Take Latvia, for instance.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has acquired – don’t ask how – an awesome amount of data on this small Baltic nation, including …

  • Latvia_CIA primerArea: 24,938 square miles / high point 1,024 feet
  • Languages: Latvian (56.3%) and Russian (33.8%)
  • Population: 1,986,705 / median age 42.9 years
  • Adult obesity rate: 25.6%
  • Mother’s average age at first birth: 26.4 years
  • Physicians: 3.58 per 1,000 population
  • GDP per capita: $24,500
  • Fixed line telephones: 390,000 – but you knew that

The capital, Riga, is famous for its rich history, ancient churches and rowdy British tourists: UK TripAdvisor reports that by 2006 the city had become the “#1 stag party destination in Europe.”

Riga stag partyA midweek round trip from London-Stansted Airport on budget carrier RyanAir will run you about $100. But keep in mind a helpful TripAdvisor tip: “Most of the stag party members who get into trouble do so only as a result of going into the wrong type of strip club.”

Isn’t that always the way?

Advertising to Latvian consumers – as easy as targeting US Boomers

Well, now we have everything we need to create a Latvian ad campaign; big data and social insights. Hey, don’t quibble – we’ve learned as much about Latvia as Madison Avenue knows about American Boomer-World.

Maybe even more. Adland’s Millennial-fixated take on Baby Boomers is there’s a lot of them but they’re outside the 18-49 demo, and they’re annoying – so who cares? 

Well, as every good travel writer knows, tempting imagery can open a tourist’s eyes to new experiences. It’s time for marketers to reassess Boomer-World – put it on the bucket list along with Machu Pichu, Angkor Wat and, of course, Frozen Dead Guy Days.

As for temptation, well, how about this:

Experience Boomer-World94 million Americans belong to the Boomer-Plus Generation – born 1940-1966, raised in Boomer-World, ignored after age fifty, but who …

  • Own over 70% of US household assets
  • Are the third largest economy in the world – a bigger, more affluent market than any EU country
  • Buy half of all new vehicles sold in the USA
  • Buy over half the CPGs as well. Plus two-thirds of all home improvement products
  • Are the fastest growing market for smartphones
  • Think active – buy 20mm pairs of sports shoes a year
  • Dominate travel industry revenues
  • Start more new businesses than any other cohort

Best of all, they speak English. Well, sort of – it’s special, highly nuanced dialect that was learned during times that can never be relived and which no outsider can truly master.

The frustrating part for visitors is that, on the surface, Boomer-speak looks so familiar and easy. Rather like the wrong type of Latvian strip club.

The Adland tourist’s guide to Boomer-World etiquette

Boomer-World passportThe allure of Boomer-World is slowly beginning to dawn on a few adventurous mainstream brand marketers. So, sometime soon, they will instruct their agencies’ bright young researchers and creatives to grab their backpacks and visit us.

But before they zipline through our colorful ecosystem, in order to clear immigration, Adland’s Millennial tourists need a few basic pointers on Boomer-World etiquette.

  • Keep an open mind – leave your 18-49 demo dogma behind:
    • We invented the 21st century and we never stopped adapting. Give us an engaging story, persuasive features and benefits and we’ll switch brands in a heartbeat.
  • Practice good manners:
    • Don’t smirk. We’re not your daffy mom, your doofus dad or grumpy Uncle Joe. They may have to put up with your snarky eye-rolls, but we don’t.
    • Don’t point. Unless your story is inherently generational, don’t single us out for attention based on our age – just include us along with everybody else.
    • Don’t swear. No matter how we behave in private, we don’t appreciate public bad language or overtly rude-and-crude ads. Yes, it’s a double standard. Deal with it.
    • Don’t pander. We didn’t grow up in grainy sepia or faded Kodachrome; if you must show our yesterdays, spare us the faux atmospherics – that’s not how things were.

As the old saying goes, travel broadens the mind: click here for your passport to Boomer-World. And we’ll assign a highly trained, certified local guide to keep you away from tourist traps.  Oh yeah, just to be clear: we don’t do stag nights.

Opportunity_Boomer-World tourist

Boomer - neXt SM logo_MMOriginally published as a Boomer-Plus Consulting Group post; in September, 2017, we up-branded as Boomer / neXt to welcome the 4 million Gen Xers who join the Boomers in the 50+ space each year.

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