01 Feb'18

Companies ignoring the older women in their advertising


J.Walter Thompson Intelligence surveyed 249 UK females aged 53-72 for their Elastic Generation: The Female Edit report. The report aims to turn ‘the spotlight on a much misunderstood group of British people’. Although this generation is known as the Baby Boomers, the report relabels this group as ‘The Elastic Women’. The revised label is to ‘capture the innate resilience, strength and potential’.


The report revealed that 72% of respondents ‘don’t pay attention to advertising’. In addition, 91% wish that advertisers would treat them like people and not stereotypes.


Some brands have made an effort to not stereotype the older female generation. For example, ‘This Girl Can’ portrays older generations being active; Sue (67 years old) enjoys swimming in cold water pools. However, from the statistics it appears that more brands need to put more effort into targeting ‘Elastic Women’.




The European Director at the Innovation Group, Marie Stafford, is of the opinion that it’s ironic that brands only want to talk to the older generation of women about their ‘morality and physica decline’ when they are often ‘active, engaged and involved’.


The three main conclusions from the report are:


    • Age is no longer a useful indicator of how older women are living


    • Many women like to see older faces in brand communications, but ensure that depictions are authentic and that all customer touch points reflect the same attitude


    • Organisations should ditch the outdated stereotypes and harness data to drive deeper, better, more personal engagement. Think about what unites generations, not what divides them