Shame marketing

Shame marketing: Last summer, I blogged the news that AARP was attempting to woo young media buyers to consider advertising in a magazine their parents might read, yuck. I guess the Hamptons guerilla marketing came up short, as now AARP is going for the jugular with some creative designed to generate advertising sales by shaming media planners (or, better, their clients) into putting AARP Magazine on their schedules. For example, one ad says: “These days, doctors don’t pronounce you dead. Marketers do.”
For the record, I think this campaign is brilliant and I believe it will work. It has already generated a big article in the NY Times (registration required), for example. And a mention on the rexblog. Developing.

3 thoughts on “Shame marketing

  1. Another brilliant tactic would be to encourage the parents and grandparents of those young media buyers (YMB) to write them out of their wills. See, I think those YMBs don’t want their elders to spend money on themselves, but rather to save it for what my consiglieri terms, “natural objects of their bounty.” I’d leave those ungrateful little whippersnappers my Bounty all right, the better to soak up their tears when the lawyer says – “they spent it all.”

  2. Goodness Bill. You’re giving the YMBs a lot of credit. Have they really thought past their low-fat grande lattes with a shot of espresso and who’s meeting who where tonight for drinks?
    Seriously, while undoubtedly the problem has a legitimate origin, there’s a danger in stereotyping on both sides…both the indisputed long-term issue of media buyers not buying to the tastes of those over 40, and in suggesting that “media buyers” as a group are a bunch of insensitive, hip, young louts who could care less about the buying desires of their elders.

  3. I agree with you, Laura. I believe media buyers are very sensitive and caring and treat their clients media dollars as their own…oh, and did I say intelligent and good looking? And the love their parents and grandparents.

    And for the record, while I applaud the AARP’s effort (on this, at least), I don’t think it’s valid to suggest that not purchasing advertising in their magazine should be considered ipso facto, a sign of “agism.” Perhaps the media buyers believe they can reach the same active audience in a skiing publication or one of those new music magazines targeting baby boomers. There are lots of media targeting “active seniors” — like all of them.

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