On the other hand, focusing on the real needs of consumers, rather than their estimated age, has the added benefit of being attractive to all potential users of the product. An example suggested by Margaret Morganroth Gullet, a cultural critic and resident researcher at Brandeis University’s Women’s Research Center, is the recent Depend absorbent underwear marketing campaign.
“She’s a 20-rep athlete,” an announcer intones in a 2020 ad as a middle-aged woman trains outdoors, “and runs past every leak.” In another television ad, a woman who does not look old enough to receive Social Security benefits is hosting a business meeting.
Not all seniors use absorbent underwear, but all people with urinary incontinence: pregnant or postpartum people taking certain medications, bladder problems, or any other temporary or recurring health problem.
“It made absorbent underwear a worthy part of everyday life,” said Dr. Gullett. Ads that acknowledge this bodily reality rather than just showing the old model are “more revolutionary in a sense,” she said.
CruzrOne, whose marketing campaign focuses on pace rather than age, is another such example. Some older runners may prefer shoes for a slower pace, but beginners or those recovering from injury may do the same. In this new approach to marketing, age matters less than the shopper’s lifestyle, said Dr. Golden: “A 65-year-old and 25-year-old man can be horny and involved, or an older 80-year-old can run a marathon.”
At least this latter part has long been recognized by Nike. Nike’s very first television ad featuring the famous “Just Do It” slogan in 1988 focuses on the Golden Gate Bridge, where a bare-chested runner makes his daily 17-mile walk, Nike Airs on his feet. , gray chest hair swaying in the morning breeze.
“People ask me how I try not to chatter in winter,” explains 80-year-old Walt Stack to the camera. “I leave them in my locker.”