A Baby Boomer and his money will soon be parted, if the wizards behind Super Bowl commercials have their way.
With control over 75 percent of American households' net worth, the generation born between 1946 and 1955 is looking pretty appealing to marketers. And with Super Bowl XLVI ad spots going for a record-breaking $3.5 million per 30 seconds (according to AdWeek), those same marketers are learning to speak an aging generation's language.
They'll start by not using the word "aging."
"We're a youth-oriented generation," says Kate Forgach, a Baby Boomer consumer specialist with freeshipping.com. "We don't like to think of ourselves as aging, even though we are."
So expect to witness the hawking of luxury automobiles, erectile dysfunction drugs and maintenance-free homes when you tune it to watch the Giants battle the Patriots. But don't expect to hear such phrases as "mature," "golden years" "retiree" or, for the love of Bill Belichick, "senior citizen."
The Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business spelled out some terms marketers should always avoid, Forgach says. In addition to the aforementioned, "prime time of your life," "silver years" and "establishment" made the list.
"We lived through Nixon's Watergate and the Vietnam War," says Forgach. "We tend to think of ourselves as anti-establishment."
So what does sell?
"'Individual,'" says Forgach. "'Self-expression'. 'Family values'. 'Reinvention.' 'Good life.' 'Prestige.'
"We like our importance to be appealed to," she says. "'You're important to our success.' 'Your contribution is unique and important.' 'We need you.'"
And here we thought Generation Twitter was self-absorbed.
"But we don't take ourselves too seriously," Forgach hastens to add. "We want to be viewed as more light-hearted, which is why humor sells better than sex these days."
Somebody may want to mention that to Madonna before she hits the stage at halftime.