White paper

What happens when 50 isn’t so old?

Marketing’s age-related blind spot is bigger than we thought

Our latest research shows a deep disengagement among older consumers

Fewer than 10% of people aged 40+ can remember seeing someone their age in marketing, and almost a third can’t remember a single recently promoted brand or product.

For the 50+ audience, this wasn’t really a surprise. What came as a shock was the extent of disengagement among 40-49s – older Millennials and younger GenXers.

We wanted to examine how marketing to over 50s will change when Millennials start to hit that age milestone, but we found an audience already neglected, ignored, and misrepresented. An audience with money to spend, who expect attention from brands but aren’t getting it – just like the over 50s.

For too long brands have ignored the real needs of the over-50s and made broad assumptions over their attitudes and behaviours, says Anything But Grey co-founder Sarah Firth. “Our research clearly shows brands are losing older Millennials and younger GenXers too – a demographic who are marketing wired, digitally savvy, and hitting their peak earning potential.”

The data shows most over 40s are now part of what we call ‘the forgotten demographic’. It means around half the UK adult population (the older half) almost never see marketing that moves them.

Brands are missing out on a major opportunity to reach and even own this market, adds Nicola Roberts, also co-founder at Anything But Grey. Many in this age-group are open to trying new things and have a greater disposable income, despite the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

Watch our expert panel discuss the implications for brands

This white paper offers a deep dive into our data on engagement and channel effectiveness among the 40-70+ age brackets. It examines the nature of the industry blind spot and asks – ‘how can the forgotten demographic be reached?’

It’s time for brands to start asking that question now, because 50 isn’t so old anymore – and with anti-ageism sentiment rising, the price of inaction may be about to increase sharply.

Download the white paper (PDF 2.4MB)

Research conducted by 3GEM on behalf of Anything But Grey, 1,500 Gen pop aged 40+, August 2023.

want to know more?

To find out how Anything But Grey can help transform your marketing to the over 50s,
please contact us on [email protected]