Thursday, February 21, 2008

Silver Surfers



I came across a new term today - Silver Surfers. This is term being used to describe Babyboomers who use the Internet. They are hip, cool, in their 60s, but not old.

This is where I don't know whether to be fasinated or appalled. Really, what is worse - being old and rolling with it or being old and pretending that you're not.

In a couple weeks, I'll be 37. I teach at a local university and have students who are 22 and think I'm A LOT older than them. They usually think I'm old enough to be their mother. It never bothers me. So I guess I just don't get it.

(Photo is Grandma Moses, for anyone who is wondering. I like to pick on the Boomers when I get the chance.)

4 comments:

Scott said...

Oh for crying out loud - like the internet is only for young people. To me, this is like being surprised that people who were retired in the '80s got cable television. OF COURSE they got cable. My parents are nearly 70, they surf the web and shop online and they definitely do not feel cool or hip. It's just another tool they use to keep in touch and discover things about the outside world.

Just because you shop online does NOT mean that you are hip or cool any more than reading a news paper means that you're a dinosaur.

Anonymous said...

Hey there!

I'm taking a marketing class right now and luckily my group got "Gen X Market Segmentation" as our presentation topic. So we got to investigating and found that there is a lot of information out there that basically says, don't try to market to generation X - there are only 50 million of them and they don't respond to marketing the way Gen Y and the Boomers do. Apparently, our cynisicm has driven marketers mad because we do NOT like to be "cool" because that puts us into a bucket that we don't want to be in.

One of the successes we found in marketing to Gen X was Sprite, that went from #7 to #4. Remember this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwSOfW-9jXw&feature=related There's an even better one if you look, the one where the little sun terrifies the family by jumping off the juice container? Ha!

So people seem to think that nails us. We don't believe hype and we don't like to be lied to. But, there is still this big idea out there that we are all flipping burgers somewhere. Sheez... talk about a hard to shed image. In reality, we are replacing retiring boomers, we have children and houses and are entering our prime earning years. If a company can figure out how to successfully market to us, they are in for success.

Since you're into generational marketing, do you have any insights or web sites you could send me that would help us out? It seems that because we are hard to market to, there isn't a lot of research that's been done in the last couple years on it. All of the stuff we can find is from the 90's. I guess specifically, we were looking for Gen X marketing successes and failure that are more recent than, "Obey your thirst."

Thanks and have a great weekend!
Scott

Anonymous said...

I’m a Boomer (1952), lived through eh fun of the sixties and started to mellow out in the late seventies, maybe it had something to do with getting a job and marriage. Still married to same wife, two kids, dog . car , life is good.

How labeled the “Silver Surfers” hip,cool. Was it you? Lighten up. Were old, no denying it. So is Keith Richard but life goes on and there’s more fun to have.

Anonymous said...

"They are hip, cool, in their 60s, but not old"? Gimme a break!
Hey, only the very oldest tip of Boomers are over 60. Boomers can be as young as 45. That's not much older than YOU now is it? I'm a boomer, have 2 toddlers still running around the house (my youngest is just 2), and have had an internet presence for more than 12 years. How long have you been "surfing"?
To see the pic of Grandma Moses and being referred to as a "Silver Surfer" is not just insulting, it's downright ridiculous.