Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you!
Is that all you blighters can do?
My teenage daughter and I watched the wonderful musical My Fair Lady this weekend. The Lerner & Loewe song “Show Me” seemed to perfectly capture the sentiment of last week’s top mature marketing links.
There’s Freddie, full of best intentions, desperately trying to connect with Eliza through passionate prose. There’s Eliza, tired of talking. If the movie were made today, she’d likely respond with Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation (a lot more action).” Instead Eliza demands: “don’t waste my time, show me!”
Have mature marketers been too worried about the words, words, words they use? The items that got the most shares, clicks and comments last week had to do with the language of aging.
1. MOST SHARED: “Updating the Language of Aging,” an article by LeadingAge’s Jane Sherwin about why language is so important in the senior living industry. Sherwin shows how leading providers are not just picking words that don’t offend but are choosing those that will uplift and empower.
Michelle Seitzer of SeniorsForLiving summed it up when she shared the link:
Can words change the world? Read the piece at http://bit.ly/1mwDomu.
2. MOST COMMENTED: “Banana-fana Fo-senior …The Name Game and 50+ Marketing.”
This post on this blog generated some great discussion. We shared the results of two surveys related to the language of aging — namely, which words are loathed and which are liked. (No age-related labels seem to really be loved.)
Deb Unger is definitely in the show me camp. She wrote on the blog:
“Don’t market to my age. If you do you are in essence telling me what I should like or use based on my age. Market to a person instead and let me decide if it’s for me regardless of my age.”
Ronni Bennett, elderblogger, journalist and source of one of the two polls, countered:
“I don’t agree that descriptive words for old people shouldn’t refer to their age. There are a zillion reasons stories, reports and advertising need to target by age – sometimes for medications or for over-the-counter products (I, at 73, don’t need acne cream and it’s a waste of advertisers’ money to include me) and any reporter would be negligent to not declare teen, young adult, elder, etc. when they don’t have an age to report.”
The conversation’s just begun. Add your two cents here: http://bit.ly/1oVuRtA
3. Also of note: No matter what marketers choose to call older adults, we can connect by understanding the stress they’re under and showing them we have solutions. NPR Health had a fine series of reports on stress last week.
What stresses older adults? Health problems are the dominant concern for seniors, while money is tops for baby boomers.
The study was conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Read more here: http://n.pr/1jHUM9q
My solution to stress? Curling up on the couch with my kids and a good movie. And singing along with Eliza as she uses words to change her world.