Expert highlights cracks in cosmetic campaigns for ageing consumers

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Expert highlights cracks in cosmetic campaigns for ageing consumers
Mark Beasley, managing director of rhc advantage, a mature marketing agency that looks at how brands market to the ageing consumer, has highlighted some crucial areas cosmetic campaigns may be missing out on. caught up with the MD before his presentation at in-cosmetics in Paris this week where he told this publication that based on his most recent research, some mature consumers feel cosmetic brands are missing out on some key points when it comes to products targeted at their demographic.

In most European countries, death and dying are taboo subjects. This means that age and ageing are culturally unattractive and that we live in an ageist society. Women are faced by specific social pressures to maintain a youthful appearance and to look younger than their chronological age."

This in turn, Beasley says, raises a whole set of complex questions, most of which have to be addressed (whether explicitly or implicitly) when it comes to marketing for older people.

Thus the presentation focused on key questions including; is ageing something to be disguised or celebrated, do we all want to appear younger than we are? And are older people to be ignored, patronised or stereotyped?

What brands may be missing

Based on his research, Beasley says that consumers noted two important differences as we age. Firstly, in the way in which we process marketing information changes and secondly, the fact that the inevitability about age is the physical ageing process.

"So in this instance, we tend to be less engaged by image and emotion, and more influenced by facts, logic and information. This has implications for product claims and advertising," ​he explains.

Although the MD says this is well understood by the cosmetics industry in terms of product design and formulation, the research found that older consumers felt product packaging wasn't meeting the same target. 

"As eyesight declines, reading packaging becomes problematic – but is more important, as allergies and medical conditions are more likely. And as for those people finding it difficult to distinguish between shampoo and conditioner once they have removed their glasses for a shower or bath."

Status or image were also highlighted as no longer being imperative to this age group, the same for emotion as mature consumers become more confident in themselves.

Brands that are getting it right

Beasley says despite the research, there are brands that are following through all the way with their marketing campaigns when targeting mature consumers.

"Olay and Dove are hitting the nail on the head as they are age neutral and have the right balance of ages," ​he concludes.


Related topics: Market Trends

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