The Key to Marketing to Older People? Don’t Say ‘Old.’

by Adam Felts

A New York Times article reports on changing marketing strategies to older consumers, with words like 'senior' and 'elderly' being strenuously avoided in how products are presented. AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin provides his thoughts in the article.

'A marketing campaign that positions a product for an aging consumer is unlikely to attract younger buyers, said Joseph Coughlin, founder and director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“But guess what?” he added. “We also know that old people will run with their hair on fire away from it.”

Dr. Coughlin said companies instead needed to position their products as being for “an ageless lifestyle” that “keeps people engaged and productive, healthy and well.”'

Read the full story via the New York Times.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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