Slingshot, LLC

About Advertising to Seniors


Though they may process information more slowly, seniors are not slow.

While it is true that as we age, we tend to process information a little more slowly than when we were younger, the decline is not dramatic. In fact, it is not until the age of eighty or above that the average older adult falls below the middle range of mental performance of younger adults. Whatever they may have lost in cognitive ability, they have made up in wisdom that only comes through life experience.  CIRCA 46 creates advertising campaigns that recognize the value of a senior’s life experience.

Lead with the right; follow with the left.

Older adults reference life experience rather than using and analyzing objective data. As a result, they tend to review much less information and eliminate choices and possibilities more quickly before making decisions. Because there is less reliance on reason and analysis to determine what is of interest – and more reliance on intuition, which is cued by emotional stimuli – CIRCA 46 “leads with the right and then follows with the left.” That is, we begin by marketing with right-brain messaging that evokes sensual imagery and emotion, and then follow up with left-brain messages that focus on details and logic.

Just give them the facts.

Once a senior determines he or she wants to invest further attention in a particular advertising message, the next response often is to want more information than younger consumers. He is not interested in hyperbole; he wants objective information. Years of buying experience has equipped older consumers with a knowledge of what to look for and what information they need to make an intelligent purchase decision. Consequently, CIRCA 46 is direct, explicit and complete in our messaging to seniors.

Make it clean. Make it simple.

Because seniors process information more slowly, they may have difficulty reading and understanding written material that is dense with long, complex sentences and multiple clauses. This problem is further complicated as seniors also find it harder to focus their attention and deal with distractions. Hence, CIRCA 46 advertising is simple and easy to read.

Seniors are not especially sensitive to peer pressure.

Seniors are less subject to peer pressure influence than younger consumers. Keeping-up-with-the-Jones is not as important as it once was. Thus, advertising that invokes social status benefits generally falls flat with the senior market. Purchase decisions are made more on a basis of affordability and the relative value a product or service can deliver.

Seniors are thinking young.

According to pollster, Frank Luntz, people over seventy feel thirteen years younger than their chronological age – and they think they look it, too. They not only think they are young, they are acting young. CIRCA 46 likes to think of this group as young, too – especially with regard to the messaging we communicate to seniors. We address and represent seniors as they see themselves – and that’s a decade or so younger than they really are. You know, seventy is the new fifty.