Connections to Boomes Thesis

Pages: 15 (4111 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 25  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Advertising Connections to Baby Boomers

Advertising creatives frequently distort representations of Boomers and other "real" people in TV commercials. Kim and Lowry (2005) cite Williamson (1978) to purport: "advertisements must take into account not only the inherent qualities and attributes of the products they are trying to sell, but also the way in which they can make those properties mean something to us" (¶ 1). Despite their propensity to disguise and distort reality in television, commercials possess the capacity to sway people to adopt identical views of the world, according to Gerbner et al. (1994), cited by Kim and Lowry (2005, Discussion ¶ 5).

During this literature review chapter, this researcher presents a sampling of "straight" information to align with solving the problem of how cell phone service providers may better appeal to Boomers in TV commercials. For this study segment, this researcher explores information relating to the following themes, which contribute to answering this study's primary consideration, relating to ways cell phone service providers may more effectively influence boomers to purchase their services:

Conceptions and misconceptions relating to Boomers;

Cell Phone service providers;

TV commercials;

Effective advertising tactics and strategies.

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Information for this literature's discussion of published information relating to the key terms, which include, however, are not limited to: Baby Boomers; advertising; cell phones; marketing; TV; television commercials; cell phone service providers; advertising theory, this researcher reviewed information from scholarly journals, magazines, books, newspapers, studies and Web sites. To help ensure credibility of this study, this researcher utilized information published and/or posted by reliable sources (Literature Reviews, 2007, ¶ 2).

Thesis on Connections to Boomes Assignment

This literature review, which synthesizes and summarizes information relating to the study's focus, implements a thematic review of the literature, organizing segments around a topic or issue, instead of chronologically (Literature Reviews, 2007, What is a literature review, ¶ 2; but how is a literature review different... ¶ 2-3).

Conceptions and Misconceptions Relating to Boomers

Appealing to more than One Group of Consumers

In "The ultimate bundle: baby boomers and teenagers," Rachel Brown (2007) cites Matt Thornhill, "president and founder of the Boomer Project, a market research and consulting company," based in Richmond, Virginia to stress the value of not only targeting teenagers, but also Boomers; that it actually constitutes "smart marketing" (Marketing to Teens and Parents ¶ 4). Thornhill purports that businesses need to create advertisements that appeal to all groups of consumers. He notes regarding a 2007 Verizon ad which depicts a father wearing a bathrobe. The father asks his two kids something similar to: "What did you get for Christmas?." Both kids "received high-end phones and gadgets.

Dad asked what he got, and they said, 'aftershave.' He said, 'Dad got hosed'" (Marketing to Teens and Parents ¶ 4). This particular ad, Thornhill explains, relates a pertinent message for Boomers with kids, as well as to cell phone service providers who want to cater to their wants and needs, as it reminds viewers to, along with caring for their kids, to do something for themselves. This particular ad serves as an effective example of targeting more than one consumer group in a TV commercial. Brown (2007) also cites Robert Trottmann, director of marketing for Fidelity Communications Co. (Sullivan, Mo.), who reports that his father reflects why reaching Boomers proves challenging. When Trottman worked with another company demonstrating video phone service which utilized high-speed, despite demonstrating to numerous Boomers how to communicate with and simultaneously see their grandkids in another location, this product did not successfully sell. He concludes that when it comes to Boomers:

It's hard to grab their attention" (¶s 2-3).

Value Exists in Valuing Boomer Business

Zoomers," derived from the term, Boomers, denotes a group of customers, who reportedly love components of desert life, particularly Las Vegas and are continually on the move. Jeff Bargerhuff, a senior vice-president in banking marketing, notes that Zoomers, semi-retired Boomers, work in third-stage charity connected careers or for their personal gratification they enjoy. Bargerhuff recognizes the value that exists in valuing Boomer business. He relates a strategy his bank utilizes in targeting Boomers:

We let our customers know that their business is valued, and we treat them as individuals" ("Grabbing Zoomer Business with Analytic Tools," 2007, p. 56).

Missed Connections

As advertisers create advertisements with the intent to convince consumers to purchase particular products and become long-term proponents of a particular brand, and Boomers constitute such a prolific, potentially profitable consumer group for advertisers, the question arises: Why do a myriad of advertisers miss the connection? Obviously, this researcher purports, a need, as well as a dearth of information, clearly exists for ways to effectively market to Boomers in advertisements, particularly TV. In the online quantitative study Harris and Edelman (2006) conducted with 200 consumers, ages 55-60, the respondents related that ninety-three percent of the ads they surveyed effectively communicated benefits the represented products and/or services proclaimed. Two primary reasons advertisers miss numerous potentially profitable connecting with Boomers:

The advertising sets social context that is foreign to boomers.

The characters in the advertising are generally not relatable to Boomers. (Harris and Edelman, 2006, p.7)

Advertising's Potential

In the U.S. News & World Report article: "Oldies but goodies," Kristin Davis (2005) stresses the value of Boomers in the U.S., noting this gourp "ought to be the most sought-after demographic cohort for American marketers. As a group, they are the most affluent Americans, with three quarters of the nation's financial assets and an estimated $1 trillion in disposable income annually" (¶ 3).

Despite the potential profits businesses could retrieve from this group, with the oldest boomers turning 60 during 2006, the percentage of advertising directed specifically at the 50-plus market only totaled approximately 50% during 2005. Davis (2005cites Brent Green, author of Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers to contend: "Once you turn 50, you fall off the planet" (¶ 3). Te Revesz, an associate director of research firm Find/SVP, argues that when pitching products to Boomers, "anything marketing to silver hair is bad marketing" (¶15). According to Revesz, advertisers need to incorporate concept of words that communicate self-image, not chronological age. According to her, making the 50 -ish Boomer feel as if he/she is 30 years-old-again contributes to an advertisement's success.

Cell Phone Service Providers

Nationwide 2003 Study by AARP

In "Understanding Consumer Concerns about the Quality of Wireless Telephone Service," Christopher a. Baker, and Kellie K. Kim-Sung (2003) report results from a nationwide 2003 study AARP conducted. This study represented 3,037 adults living in the continental U.S. adult who owned a telephone and, while simultaneously allotting for wireless telephone users and non-users comparisons in three various age groups: a: 18-49; b: 50-64; c: 65 and older. Researchers measured: "consumers' interest in, awareness and understanding of, and satisfaction with wireless telephone service and service providers" (¶ 1).

Findings revealed that a number of U.S. Boomers considered cellular phone service an essential component in contemporary times. Survey respondents age 50 to 64 (50%), the report revealed, found "are almost as likely as respondents age 18 to 49 (55%) to report having cell phone service. Respondents age 65 and older (27%) are less likely to say they have cell phone service" (Baker, and Kim-Sung, 2003, ¶ 1).

Another Generation's Cell Phone Preferences

The cell phone related study by the University of New Hampshire reports preferences from a generation much younger than Boomers. "Students at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) want pragmatic and practical features on their cell phones," ("University of New Hampshire," n.d.,¶ 1). this study found. "Their top current uses of cell phones are to make phone calls, text message, and use their phone as an alarm clock" ("University of New Hampshire," n.d., Executive Summary, ¶ 1). With only 1% of participants from this study reporting they did not use a cell phone, uses students reported for their cell phones included: Talking 91%; Text Messaging 87%; Alarm Clock 80%; Calculator 55%; Backlight as Flashlight 55%; Camera 54%; Calendar 47%; Picture Messaging 37%; Internet 10%; Instant Messaging 9%; Music 8%; Email 7%; Video Messaging 6%; GPS 3%." Interesting to note, this researcher contends, that the study of the University of New Hampshire findings regarding students' preferences for cell phone services could likely reflect a number of boomers preferences. (Appendix a)

Comparison of Four Cell Phone Service Providers Jerry Ropelato, who founded TopTenREVIEWS, Inc. In 2003, reportedly possesses 28 years experience in technology and management. He also founded several other successful businesses. Stan Bassett, on the board of directors of TopTenREVIEWS, Inc. served as a former Executive Vice President of MarketStar, and strategically managed the business development of retail clients such as Sony, LG, Canon, Motorola, Office Depot and Whirlpool. He developed innovative field marketing campaigns to deliver predictable, measurable results, including account satisfaction, retention, profitability and loyalty. The other two members of the board of directors for TopTenREVIEWS, Inc., include Bo Peabody, and Mark Solon ("Cell phone providers," 2008). Bo Peabody, also a successful businessman co-found Village Ventures, an early stage venture firm with $150 million under management. Peabody wrote Lucky… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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