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The100: Smorgasbords of blandness, jingles & a helping of “I don’t care”

The pig in the python is passing through

You’re no doubt aware that we’re all ignoring “the most valuable generation in the history of marketing”?

So which of these do you think is a banal excuse for not including the over-50s in most marketing strategies:

  1. Brand loyalty won early will last a lifetime? 
  2. Everyone aspires to be young? 
  3. The over-50s are heavy TV viewers, so any [marketing] plan picks them up?

Answer: all 3.

With the exception of a handful of categories […] the over-55s don’t actually feature at all in the vast majority of marketing strategies, creative briefs and media plans. It’s a breathtaking omission.

[We’re thinking of developing an empathy led project – videos and analysis – on this aging cohort. Interested?]

Too cool to jingle?

Ben Kay offers several reasons why many marketers can only offer up a smorgasbord of blandness

The ability to point to facts and figures is delightfully addictive. It means you can now prove that your advertising has this reach, or that clickthrough rate, and that both these figures are so-and-so percent better than the previous quarter. Ad agencies and CMOs are big fans of that. It means you don’t have to justify nebulous bollocks such as likeability, or whether the message will resonate enough for someone to buy the product in three years’ time. The numbers do not lie (of course they do), so let’s have more of them.

“Liquid superteams”

Behold the cooperation economy

Individuals are becoming more important than institutions. Work is becoming more liquid. People can accomplish more on their own than ever before.

It’s a fascinating read, not just because Packy McCormick invokes LeBron and the NBA to help make his case. 

The “creative-cliff illusion.”

What you may think is the right time to stop brainstorming is most likely the wrong time. Apparently our false beliefs about creativity are stopping us from being creative.

Our best ideas are there. They just require more digging.

Dorothy Parker knew this, citing the need to persevere in this telegram to her editor after missing a deadline. In it is a phrase you may never forget and could usefully employ:

I can’t look you in the voice.

Diagram of a meeting

So now you know not to stop brainstorming too early, but do you know the optimal point to end a meeting? Big h/t to Storythings.


A treasured trove of compass twisting maps awaits your preconceptions. Number 12: ace. Number 3: can I go on that train ride please? Number 15: saw this on the West Wing and still can’t believe we get away with it. 

On dining with kids

And finally, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few annoying responses from my children when asking them “what do you want to eat?” So I’m making my own version of this Scottish menu for my  kitchen wall.

P.S. I was at my mum’s last weekend and she was entertaining my daughter with a load of magazines from the 1940s. Here’s an ad from one of them for anyone enjoying Euro 2020: 

Picture Post, 16 March 1940