In a smooth-skinned, sharp-eyed and shapely-toned society, the "oldie" has long been portrayed as a dead weight – at best ignored by brands, at worst mocked to ward off archaism. But that was before.
While seniors are becoming the largest population class in our societies, their lifestyle is challenging our prejudices. Two-thirds of people aged 70 and over say that age brings "more wealth, joy, spirituality, ideals, and freedom" (ADN source). The "revenge of the old"? There’s certainly one fact to be acknowledged: today's seniors have a future.
What if our elders understood everything digital?
Click: 9 out of 10 seniors make purchases on the Internet (source link), use Facebook or subscribe to Netflix. My grandmother is addicted to the same series as me! Digital fills the generational gap but also loneliness: "Two thirds of people over 70 think that you are never too old to have one-night stands". To find love, they can match on DisonsDemain (a great naming effort), the dedicated Meetic site, or on Passions, the dating app based on their interests. And Tinder doesn't have an upper age limit. YOLO.
Your second life starts at 60
The retirement age is being postponed. But so too is the age you feel ! With the mortgage paid off and the youngest kid finished with business school… It’s time to enjoy the rest of your life – and to become an interesting target for brands, who have caught a whiff of the manna. Welcome to the silver economy, where innovation simplifies life, preserves autonomy and is often relevant to the entire population (see ADN).
The time available allows gray-haired to travel, volunteer, or even embark on their own entrepreneurial adventure and create value. Surprisingly, "the proportion of entrepreneurs among adults aged 50 to 64 (18%) is higher than among young people aged 18 to 29 (11%)" (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report 2016). The will to be an entrepreneur at this age is often motivated by self-actualization and allows one to stay physically, intellectually and professionally active. Their previous experiences help them avoid certain pitfalls, distill their advice and invest financially as business angels. On the negative side, the vast majority of senior entrepreneurs remain men (68 to 77%).
Old is the new young
More and more muses in their sixties proudly embody the brands, rich in their experience and an insolent casualness. "The hair turns gray, the features tell stories to the camera which films them or to the camera which photographs them, and the established order falters" explains Marie-Capucine Reyt, Founder, Artistic Director & Executive Producer at WeSoundCompany. While we were already inspired by their retro style, seniors invade our social networks and are on the way to eclipse a well-tempered Miley Cirus.
What’s left for young people ? To survive the long millennial blues, we keep pinching seniors’ creative practices and comforting lifestyles. Knitting, embroidery, country cooking, calligraphy … herbal tea and bed by 21pm on Saturday night is chill.
The senior is no longer outdated, useless or outdated. He is an actor who is gradually reclaiming his place in society - and the consideration of "assets". And tomorrow ? The next grandpa boom encourages brands to promote them with dedicated and cutting-edge experiences. Like young people, they represent a demanding, connected, bankable and increasingly influential target. The future is in front of them.