This demographic also has significant purchasing power, with an estimated disposable income of £319 billion in 2020. However, despite the importance of this market, many advertisers still rely on stereotypes when it comes to media planning and buying.
Stereotypes are simplistic and often inaccurate beliefs about a group of people based on their age, gender, race, or other characteristics. When it comes to the over-50s market, advertisers often rely on stereotypes such as the idea that older people are technophobic, set in their ways, and only interested in traditional media such as TV and print.
These stereotypes can lead to ineffective advertising campaigns that fail to resonate with older audiences. For example, a study by the Advertising Association and MullenLowe Profero found that many older people feel patronized by advertising that relies on stereotypes, with 42% saying they find it annoying.
Furthermore, research by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) found that older people are more diverse than stereotypes suggest. The ILC's report found that older people have a wide range of interests and lifestyles, with some preferring traditional media such as TV and print, while others are avid users of digital media. The report also found that older people are not a homogeneous group and that age alone is not a good indicator of behaviour or attitudes.