Over 50 Isn’t Worth Your Advertising Dollars? That Notion Is So Old, Nielsen Says

Jul 19, 2010  •  Post A Comment

The belief that the over 50-market isn’t worth as much as the coveted 18 to 49-year old market is so old — at least according to Nielsen, Advertising Age’s Brian Steinberg reports.

"The measurement-and-data giant is out to prove that it is advertisers’ continued focus on younger customers that’s out of date, thanks to a massive and aging population of baby boomers as well as changes in consumers’ lifestyle sparked by new technology," Steinberg writes.

The next few decades may see a shift in how consumers spend, with younger Americans facing smaller salaries amid a tough economy and choosing to have smaller families. Meanwhile, the baby boomer generation will start to retire, with more money saved and the ability to spend more, the story says.

And while the TV market is aimed at viewers 49 and under, the average age of a prime-time broadcast viewer is almost 51, Steinberg points out. "To maintain relevance to advertisers, the big networks need to find a way to establish the relevance of older consumers if they want to continue to draw the marketers that support TV so heavily," he writes.


  1. I have been saying this for a couple of years now. A1849 is an outdated methodology and hardly the best way to get the most bang for a client’s buck with TV advertising.
    A3564, A35+ and A50+ are the only demos really watching television “the old way”. The lower end of the A1849 demo has largely moved on to the internet as cable has become too expensive for many to afford.

  2. Terrence is right. Very few people under age 35 watch TV and see commercials. If they are watching a program they shift immediately to an iPad, iPhone or PC during commercials and do email, facebook, and twitter. Some advertisers are recognizing this and moving into methods to reach these consumers. But too few are getting the right advice from their agencies on this issue. Cable and Network television is fast moving into the area that radio has where it is still relevant, but not in the same way as it was.

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