- Visually representing the generation of older consumers as a diverse audience: towards a multidimensional market segmentation typology
- Volume | Issue number
- 11 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Television commercials and advertising often represent the generation of older consumers as eternally youthful, active and rich. Representations of senior citizens as fragile people needing services and products to help them to survive are also used, but less frequently. As individual differences between senior citizens increase as they grow older, it is important to avoid one-dimensional stereotyping images. In this essay we first discuss the notion of generations and literature related to the visual representation of aging. Then, we show how marketers could visually represent senior citizens, using what we call a multidimensional market segmentation typology. This typology is based on the Life-Stage segmentation principles for marketing strategy development proposed by Moschis (1996), an approach which reflects the pluralistic composition of the older consumer market. We illustrate this approach with the help of three Dutch marketing studies and a Finnish dissertation. Finally, we answer the question of how a market segmentation strategy can be developed, taking into account the pluralistic composition of this group of older consumers and avoiding stereotypic images with which the target audience cannot identify.
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