This morning on the bus I sat next to a man in his 60's. I could hear the music coming from his headphones loud and clear — Foreigner. Yes, an older man of Chinese descent was listening to stadium rock. How's that for bursting your stereotypes?
Not quite in his element, but not far off either, it's time our images and ideas about the 60+ market change. Actually I've been thinking a lot about this exact thing — how music and identity are intertwined. How the music of our later formative years (say 18-22) shapes us, and how understanding the consumers in this market through music will help illustrate a bigger and clearer picture of it.
Two examples from advertising which attempt to use the correlation between music and nostalgia and identity:
The first was from Volkswagen in 2008, which uses a 1980s' Styx song, Mr.Roboto. When I first saw it I was struck how they were obviously targeting GenX-ers.
I saw the ad, and said to myself, "Hey, they are trying to sell me a car!"
The next is a relatively new ad campaign from Anthem Blue Cross:
What's interesting about this ad is the grandparents are being shown as "rockers". The line says, "We know you're still more rocker, than rocking chair." And the music is Steppenwolf's Born to Be Wild. It was released in 1968.
That makes fans of the song, that were 22 years old when it came out, 65 this year. How's that for revealing information about this year's retirees?
(This post also appears on The Naked Innovator)