When you are a Gen X- or millennial-aged marketer, speaking to a baby boomer audience–and trying to be funny, not offensive–can be challenging. You want to be relevant and speak their language, right? How about working with some “characters” they’ll instantly recognize and (hopefully) enjoy?
Marketing to Baby Boomer Consumers
To market to this age group–such a wide age group, at that–you want to focus on one major form of entertainment: comedy. If you can get your baby boomer audience to laugh out loud you are on the right track. Spot-on humor can be memorable, but you can take it a step further. Here’s where we’ll combine old-school characters or personalities with humorous marketing content.
Baby boomers find character concepts like the aging hippie or rock and roll star to be riotous. (Doesn’t everyone?) These buyer personas get the attention of baby boomers primarily because they are emotionally triggering. More importantly, these characters remind baby boomers of their childhood or teenage years and might spark some happy nostalgia. As you create content that markets to the baby boomer age group, let the following personas help inspire your own characters.
1. The Really Rocking Rock Star
Surprise your boomer audience by showing up with a rock star, but not just any rock star. Give your consumer group the rockers they really want…you know, those who have one arm on a rocking chair and the other on a microphone? Now, to get this right, follow these steps closely:
- Choose a rock and roll icon from the baby boomer’s generation. So maybe not Marilyn Manson. Fortunately, this age group has had the greatest number of rock stars in the history of modern America, so it won’t be difficult.
- Focus on an icon that is in line with the type of music your consumer group is listening to. That’s right, you might not always have an actual rock star. Are you marketing to religious affiliates who prefer Southern Gospel? Best to avoid the rock star and go with a spiritual hymns enthusiast. However, the majority of consumers will fall into two categories—rock or country. That means your rock star might actually be someone more twangy like Hank Williams Sr. or Dolly Parton.
- Spin your content to have the voice and style of your rock star. Then, create the content so you are speaking to fellow rock and roll fans.
2. The White-Haired Hippie
Next up we have the quintessential Haight-Ashbury corner hanger-on, the hippie left over from the Summer of Love ’69. Here is a character that all free loving, psychedelic feeling consumers will dig, even if they were still kids when Mamma Cass was California Dreamin.’ Just remember to keep your content somewhat mainline. The last thing you want to do is veer too far off into the psychedelic spectrum. Your content will end up way out where Sid Barrett of Pink Floyd ended up post one too many trips—utterly bewildering and unable to come back to the main point.
Here is some head’s up on how to keep your hippie content from getting too hazy:
- Stay away from too many colors in the form of metaphors, similes, and other flowery language that can detract from your main marketing message.
- Avoid illegal or questionably legal activities in your content. Keep it somewhat PC unless that is in line with your brand image. Then, by all means, let the electric Kool-Aid acid flow freely!
3. The Cool Gangster
That brings us to the third character that baby boomers, especially those on the borderline with the Greatest generation, seem to find crazily cool. The gangster, the mobster, the bad boy, the tommy gunslinger, the rebel. James Dean, Marlon Brando, 007, Madonna (she’s a boomer, too!). It is the persona from the baby boomer’s generation that is rebellious without being too bad, just bad enough. For the cool gangster, you want to remind consumers about their own inner rebel. It makes them feel like teenagers again, and who doesn’t want that?
If you want to stay rebellious without getting too Hells Angelish, here are some guidelines:
- Stay Hollywood and avoid getting too gritty. James Dean’s motorcycle image as a persona? All day long. The persona of an actual Hell’s Angel’s motorcycle gang member? Stay as far away from that as possible. Research what happened to baby boomer Hunter S. Thompson when he tried to probe a Hell’s Angel’s character persona for content; it wasn’t a high-five and that’s for sure.
- Don’t go too dark with your characters. Influential figures like Elvis Presley in his younger years? That’s a great image but avoid his later, more bloated years. Those can be scarring to the unsuspecting baby boomer’s psyche.
Then again, you might get them laughing at parodies of their kids and grandkids. You know, the Gen X “slacker” or the “entitled” millennial!
That’s it! That’s how you go from boring content to surprisingly fresh content for the baby boomer segment of the population. If you want to find out more about sourcing this high-quality comedic content, reach out to the account management team at WriterAccess.
Miranda B has worked for a leading truck driver job recruiting firm as a web content writer. She has written more than 500,000 words for various truck driving job recruitment sites. Miranda works closely with the client’s publishing team with weekly conference calls in order to produce sticky and knowledge-rich content for their sites.