Villing & Company

Who Says 18-34 is the Most Coveted Marketing Demographic?

I’m not quite from the Mad Men era of the agency business, but closer to it (at least in age) than I’d care to admit. When I first got into the business, everyone said 18-34 was the most sought after demographic for advertisers.

Just last week, I heard someone make that same statement and it made me wonder. Is that still true? I guess if you repeat something often enough, it does become accepted as reality. Then, this morning I read a great piece called “Take Me To Your CFO.” In it, Brent Bouchez laid out some very interesting statistics.

  • By 2010, 50 percent of all consumer spending in America will be by people over the age of 50.
  • The 18-34 demographic spends $1 trillion annually.
  • Those 50+ spend $2.4 trillion annually.

I suppose the conventional thinking was that younger buyers were less “set in their ways” than their parents so they were more open to new products and new brands. Lock them in early and have brand loyalty for life. I’m not sure that axiom cuts as much wood these days. Care to guess what demographic groups are among the fastest growing users of Facebook? Men 45-54 and women 45-65. The average age of handheld video gamers? 42. Average age of GPS system users? 50.

You get the idea.

Maybe 45-54 is the new 18-34.

Maybe it’s time media moguls and modern day Mad Men grew up to the new realities.

Filed Under: advertising

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