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Friday, March 15, 2019

Are you old enough to watch the evening news?

David Muir on ABC

Now THAT, my friends, is a trick question.

First off, every newscast starts with "BREAKING NEWS" and we older like that. (Hint number 1) We want to know what is happening now so we can be up to date. Will the future never happen if we don't worry about it? Sadly, so much of BREAKING NEWS recently is about the really bad weather that has earned its prominence. 

Most of us older people are already obsessed about the weather, good, bad or foggy. (Hint number 2) When we were young, apparently there was no weather... or at least, not 24/7 as it is today.

Rising or dropping gas prices across the nation (Hint number 3) is also fodder a little later in the broadcast and outrage comes quick to those who will drive 30 miles to save 5 cents a gallon. But fear not, there is enough outrage in the news to give every watcher a target or two.

The reason all of this is true is because old people care on a global/universe scale. Thus we are self-selecting. That's why we see all those icky ads at dinner time... because we are the best market for those advertisers and they aim right between the eyes and into the caring brain of the "the older." ... of which I am one, or better said... of which I am one.

So the evening news has most of the elements for 'older' interests... immediacy, core issues, pet interests, bile baiters, etc. Now it is safe for me to be judgmental because I have come clean...but maybe not Charmin clean, heaven forbid...  and old people can't read that small type anyhow so they don't know I am making fun of us.  So just think of me as 28 years-old (wink-wink ok?) as I continue on my rampage of, as you will see, advertising to the older generation... or, as we say in the business, demographics

We are 'self-selecting' by our interests and certain advertisers want us... need us!

They mostly target the less-desired demographic with products/things that would interest someone skewing "oldish." (Actually a smart strategy, and the reason Nike or Speedo don't.)

So we get:

  • Charmin toilet tissue (my favorite) because I do desire "a better clean." "A Charmin clean... Now that feels good," "Whether I sit or squat."
  • Depends, "for a better fit," of course.
  • Ducolax, "Dependable relief" asking if I am "Constipated?" or "Stuck?"
  • Cologuard, where I can "send poop through the mail."
  • Linzess, because "not everyone poops."
  • Bath Fitters, because "a walk-in shower is safer for the less agile than a bathtub."
  • Hearing Aids, because "Eh?"
  • And many of the medicines with strange, made-up trade names and a list of possible side effects from upset stomach to death, but all helpful or vital when needed... like now for some who watch.
If you watch the evening news, you are quite probably interested in these products. Actually, it does work as advertisers spend big money to reach their best audience of users or potential users. Facebook also chases the gold by recognizing who wants what and instantly flooding those 'feeds' with like product. That's no accident.

So, news watchers, the message is clear... if you want to be seen as demographically younger, and who doesn't, watch Saturday Night Live, now in it's 44th year. You'll see none of the above advertisers but you must use discretion lest you be tempted to go for a racy Speedo or new pair of very expensive Nikes ("Just Do It!"),  As a bonus though, with SNL you will get a slice of America as it is currently seen through younger comedic eyes, some funny stuff and some that will make you cringe. But hey, that's what time-shifting is all about. Record the stuff you want to watch later and fast forward with gusto until it feels just right. And, as a bonus, you can still get to bed before 10 pm and no one will know how old you are, you sly fox.

Older is a joy if blessed with the important stuff (not money, but if so burdened, try your best to live with it.) but you know what I mean. We are as old as we see from our eyes but sometimes, if we are seen as older by others, it  is a drag. Be free as life allows... watch SNL if only in disgust, but enjoy a semi-forbidden laugh (with absolutely no disclaimers) at ourselves once in a while... and maybe, worry less about what you can't control. Did you just say "NOPE!"

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