Mature Marketing Round-up: Who’s getting it right?

The over-50s represent a third of the UK population yet have 80% of the UK’s disposable income. This is an incredibly lucrative audience for brands to engage with, so why is 90% of advertising aimed at the under-35s?

The over-50s represent a third of the UK population yet have 80% of the UK’s disposable income. This is an incredibly lucrative audience for brands to engage with, so why is 90% of advertising aimed at the under-35s?

Time and time again, when it comes to advertising, we see brands missing the mark. Some fall foul to myths surrounding the over-50s market, whilst others make the mistake of lumping ‘50+’ into one giant demographic, rather than acknowledging the complexities and intricacies that exist within this diverse group.


In 1996, actress Isabella Rossellini was told that her 15-year contract with Lancôme would not be renewed. The reason for the brand no longer wanting the Golden Globe winner and model as the face of their campaigns? She had just turned 42 and was deemed ‘too old’ to represent their products.

Twenty years later, Lancôme have thankfully admitted their mistake and welcomed Isabella back as an ambassador of the brand. Aged 62, she is now the face of their multi-million-pound Renergie Multi-Glow campaign. As Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme’s first head general manager, admitted: “We made a mistake. I want that story to be rewritten.”

Why it works:

While Lancôme are certainly not the first brand to succumb to ageist practices, they are one of the few to attempt to put things right. By rehiring Isabella Rossellini and openly acknowledging their earlier error, Lancôme are taking crucial steps to rebuild their relationship with older consumers, using a figurehead – and a story – most of them can actually relate to. Sometimes, it’s as simple as just being transparent and admitting you can, and must, do better.


Anchor Trust

MMA member Accord Marketing recently worked with the UK’s largest not-for-profit housing association to deliver an out of home campaign to promote their retirement living apartments.

After identifying that the majority of Anchor’s target audience would have bought their first property in the 1950s or 1960s, they decided to take a nostalgic approach. By designing ads in a vintage style, they aimed to remind consumers of the joy and excitement they felt when buying their first property and inspire them to approach purchasing a retirement home with the same enthusiasm.

Why it works:

Anchor’s ads illustrate that getting old doesn’t mean there are no new experiences to be enjoyed. This perfect blend of reminiscence and confidence for the future generates a real emotional response from consumers without feeling patronising or stereotypical.



Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM, recently launched a heart-warming campaign centred around 90-year-old Grandpa Nol and his great grandson Jagger enjoying the flight of a lifetime over Amsterdam.

Over 80 years ago Arnold Neuhaus won a competition to take a flight over Amsterdam.  However, due to family illness, he was unable to claim his prize, so 83 years later, his great grandson surprised him with a private flight (airport chauffeur included). The video has had over YouTube 40,000 and 336,000 views on Twitter.

Why it works:

What makes this campaign so special is that it focuses on the opportunities that can be experienced – regardless of age.  Although the ad centres on the touching intergenerational relationship between Grandpa Nol and Jagger, it also subtly communicates the opportunity for older travellers to explore their passions. The message is poignant yet clear: it’s never too late to make up for lost time.



EE’s latest offering features Footloose star Kevin Bacon and British icon Delia Smith cooking together while streaming BT sport from their smartphone onto their HD TV.

Why it works:

This may not be the most obviously relevant entry on our list, but what this ad does do right is that it simply shows older consumers - without any fanfare. The commercial doesn’t assume that they don’t know how to use technology or that they would be disinterested in streaming services, instead it represents the reality that older audiences are becoming more digitally switched-on than ever before.

Plus, the inclusion of Kevin Bacon and Delia Smith is an inspired choice and a prime example of how influencer marketing does not have to be the sole domain of millennials.

The MMA is a membership association that is committed to promoting the benefits of mature marketing in order to positively address the challenges and opportunities presented by the UK's ageing population. To learn more about our membership benefits, please get in touch today. 


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