Marketing to Gramps

The general population is aging – and as marketers tap this demo, grandma and grandpa will become the dominant force in popular culture.

Yesterday, the NY Times ran an article about marketers remembering the “forgotten demographic” of aging Baby Boomers–people who were born between 1946-1964.


In the past, this article says, this demographic was shunned because it was thought of as stodgy, set in their ways, and not as wealthy as their younger counterparts. But we must never underestimate the Age of Aquarius: they never fit into any neat category, and they aren’t about to start now, just because marketers think they should.

This demographic has been popping up in some unexpected places. They have been shown to purchase stockpiles of diapers (no, not these; the children’s kind) to keep on hand when their grandchildren visit. They also spend more on toys and games than was previously thought. The article explains that up to 40% of the customer base of, a developmental toys web site, is grandparents.  

Why is this demographic once again in marketers’ crosshairs?  Marketers want to go where the money is, and they can find it with Boomers.

Here are the reasons:

  • Boomers represent 26% of the population.
  • Spending power of Boomers is $ 2 trillion.
  • As of the last census, the poverty rate of Boomers was lower than any other segment of the population (7.2%) – the gap has probably widened by now.
  • Older consumers are more likely to have paid off their mortgages, a sign of stability in these uncertain times.
  • Boomers, unlike their predecessors, are comfortable with digital media and are more willing to try new things.
  • 50 as we know it today is not the same as it was 50 years ago. 60 is the new 40.

   Source: MetLife’s Profile of American Baby Boomers


3 responses to “Marketing to Gramps

  1. I’m too old and cynical to be marketed to. But they’ll keep trying.

  2. Hell yeah they will!

  3. Pingback: Marketing to Gramps | Baby Boomers and Aging

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