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Baby Boomer Women & Beauty – A Study

 

By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Principal, Marketing & Strategy

 

As professionals running a social marketing agency that specializes in reaching Baby Boomers through social media, it matters that each of our team members be accountable for staying on top of trends relating to Boomers as well as all trends in social media (that’s a hard one to keep up with!!), advertising and marketing in general.

Unfortunately, the trends in marketing to Boomers have not changed since… forever. Either we (baby boomers) are portrayed and targeted as seniors (see my rants about that here and here) – which is not to say that seniors aren’t great; it’s just that they are our parents – or we are invisible. And by invisible, I mean that we are hardly ever represented in any advertising campaign, much less a beauty/cosmetics product campaign.

Of course, we think that the fact that the largest and most affluent consumer segment is completely misrepresented,  underrepresented or even ignored is completely absurd, mostly because of the sheer number of us. But is it just our Boombox team (all of which members are highly alert and observant of all matters of media & boomers) that thinks that or…?

To find out for a fact, we decided to ask the people who knew, i.e. the female members of our own network of baby boomers bloggers and influencers. We presented our survey to the women in that group and asked them questions around the theme of  “How do women over the age of 45 REALLY feel about ‘beauty’ at their age”. More precisely, how do they feel about their own beauty and about the advertising/marketing of the beauty products that targets them.

To no surprise, we found that our survey respondents lamented about how beauty brands are doing such a poor job at targeting them. We know that the marketing & advertising world have an ongoing infatuation – actually, a fetish – with youth, but if they want to connect with us and regain our trust, it’s time to get over it. Really.

Stephen Reilly, CEO and founder of VibrantNation.com, the online community for women over 50, correlated the findings of his recent beauty survey with ours in this Engage:Boomers piece. We are in total agreement when we say that the beauty industry is failing this market segment.

Some other things we found out?

            • For women over 50, hair is super important!
            • They feel more beautiful in midlife than when they did in their 20’s
            • They do NOT believe in beauty product claims
            • They do NOT like the use of younger models or celebrities in advertising of products targeted to them
            • They define beauty in completely different and unexpected terms (read on…)
The details of the findings to our Baby Boomer beauty survey can be found in this report. We WELCOME your comments,  questions and interpretation of the survey. But mostly, we would love an answer this question: Do you think that, in our lifetime, there is a remote chance that we will see a change in how the advertising world views “older” women?

Please?

For more details on the survey, please contact us here. BOOMbox Network is a supplier of actionable insights on behaviors and trends among Baby Boomers.

 

 

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9 Responses to “Baby Boomer Women & Beauty – A Study”

  1. Walker Thornton

    I am one who filled out the survey so was glad to see the results. One particular issue I have is the anti-aging ads I see on television using models who couldn’t be even 30 years of age. It’s insulting, even thought I’m not focusing on anti-aging rather I want embrace the woman I’ve become at age 58 and speak proudly about that. I hope that by giving voice to my feelings it will encourage others as well, but honestly? I don’t think we’ll see our age group in ads for anything much beyond- constipation, arthritis and osteoporosis ads. Even the ads for ED meds that target senior men show these men coupled with women who are subtly younger!!!!!

    December 12th, 2012
    • boomboxadmin

      Walker, you are echoing the sentiments of the vast majority of our respondents. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the beauty companies are listening.

      December 12th, 2012
  2. Ellen Dolgen

    I pondered this beauty question as I approached my 59th birthday last September and wrote about it in my blog A Different Kind of Change (http://bit.ly/W6efQD).
    It occurred to me that the times when I feel most beautiful, are also the times I feel strong and confident. When I am speaking my truth, being myself, and banishing the critical voice I hear in my head (my SUMO) – confidence is my middle name.

    December 12th, 2012
    • Anne-Marie

      Ellen, I think that baby boomers very much relate to that. We feel more “real” now, we know who we are and that grows confidence. Thank goodness for that perk, right?

      December 19th, 2012
  3. Anne-Marie

    Thank you to the publications that have featured our study and provided their take on how Baby Boomer women feel about beauty:

    Engage:Boomers (MediaPost) by Stephen Reily: http://goo.gl/3rPbC

    DrugstoreNews.com by Antoinette Alexander: http://goo.gl/aF8Ne

    BeautyBusinessNews.com by Kathryn Danzey: http://goo.gl/UPLzr

    December 19th, 2012
  4. Brenda Clevenger

    I echo what Walker said. Advertisers must stop hiring 20 and 30 something models or running ads of Diane Keaton so photo-shopped she looks 30 years younger. It’s false advertising, unattainable, and bothersome to women who deserve to feel good about who they are today and not be swept under a rug for having lines, wrinkled necks, and foreheads. I welcome more ads by companies like Dove or Hanes who show women of all sizes, colors, ages.

    January 30th, 2013
    • boomboxadmin

      Hear! Hear!

      January 30th, 2013

Trackbacks

  1. Defining My Own Beauty Now That I’m Fifty | The Succulent Wife
  2. Trackbacks

    1. Audrey van Petegem: How Do Post 50 Women Define Their Beauty? | DFashionist Tube