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Older consumers and celebrity advertising

Older consumers and celebrity advertising

Yoon, Hyunsun ORCID: 0000-0001-5679-3335 and Powell, Helen (2011) Older consumers and celebrity advertising. Ageing & Society, 32 (8). pp. 1319-1336. ISSN 0144-686X (Print), 1469-1779 (Online) (doi:

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Older consumers have long been the ‘invisible majority’ in advertising despite the rapid increase in an ageing population. A significant proportion of this population have high levels of disposable income, even in times of recession, but advertisers are not encouraging them to part with it. This paper intends to find out why advertisers have been slow or struggle to target older consumers effectively. The aims of this study are two-fold. First, it explores the portrayal and representation of older consumers in Tesco's ‘Dotty’ campaign and Marks & Spencer's (M&S) ‘Twiggy’ campaign, with special reference to the use of celebrities. The second aim is to demonstrate how the focus has shifted from the more traditional, negative stereotyping (Tesco campaign) to a more progressive approach, presenting aspirational images that older consumers can identify with (M&S campaign). Although both campaigns were effective in terms of increasing profits, this paper suggests that the ongoing M&S example of using older celebrities in advertising campaigns demonstrates a more effective creative strategy that is in tune not only with a growing population of older consumers but is also especially applicable in times of economic uncertainty.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ageing, older consumers, advertising, creative strategy, celebrity advertising
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Faculty of Business > Tourism Research Centre
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Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 13:40

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