Older consumers and celebrity advertising


Yoon, C. and Powell, Helen 2011. Older consumers and celebrity advertising. Ageing and Society. 32 (8), pp. 1319-1336. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1100095X
AuthorsYoon, C. and Powell, Helen

Older consumers have long been the ‘invisible majority’ in advertising despite the rapid increase in an ageing population. A significant proportion of this population have high levels of disposable income, even in times of recession, but advertisers are not encouraging them to part with it. This paper intends to find out why advertisers have been slow or struggle to target older consumers effectively. The aims of this study are two-fold. First, it explores the portrayal and representation of older consumers in Tesco's ‘Dotty’ campaign and Marks & Spencer's (M&S) ‘Twiggy’ campaign, with special reference to the use of celebrities. The second aim is to demonstrate how the focus has shifted from the more traditional, negative stereotyping (Tesco campaign) to a more progressive approach, presenting aspirational images that older consumers can identify with (M&S campaign). Although both campaigns were effective in terms of increasing profits, this paper suggests that the ongoing M&S example of using older celebrities in advertising campaigns demonstrates a more effective creative strategy that is in tune not only with a growing population of older consumers but is also especially applicable in times of economic uncertainty.

JournalAgeing and Society
Journal citation32 (8), pp. 1319-1336
PublisherCambridge University Press for British Society of Gerontology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1100095X
Publication dates
Print19 Oct 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Jun 2017
Accepted12 Sep 2011
Copyright information© Cambridge University Press 2011
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