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I’m Not Leaking Or Creaking So Nobody’s Speaking To Me

I’m Not Leaking Or Creaking So Nobody’s Speaking To Me

By Deborah Drezon Carroll

I recently started a new job with a publication geared to grandparents. Did you know the average age of a grandparent is now 48? I was a bit surprised, but not nearly as surprised as I was when I found out how little marketers care about anyone over 48.

I researched products and companies who might want to send their messages out to the universe of grandparents and you know what I found? Pretty much no one wishes to communicate with people like me, a fairly typical, I believe, 63-year-old female.

Sample of an ad for incontinence products

Well, not exactly no one. If I suddenly start leaking from every orifice, there are companies who’d like to sell me products to soak up my excess fluids. If I began creaking, there are folks out there who’d like to sell me a variety of compounds to heat my creaks, ice my creaks, or make me feel less pain in my creaky locations. There are pharmacies who’d like to tell me about the many ways they can fill my prescriptions automatically but since I don’t actually have prescriptions to fill continuously, they don’t want me either.

And that’s about it. No one wants to sell me clothes, or sports equipment, or books, or makeup or champagne, or a hybrid car, or a trip to the Bahamas. What do marketers think I’m doing with my life and money?

I’m baffled and stymied by this. I simply don’t get it. That probably doesn’t surprise the marketers because they’ve already written me off as addle-brained because I’m older than dirt.

But I think they’re the ones not using an appropriate amount of brain cells because I spend money. And it’s not just me. Here are a few facts about grandparents:

Example of Today’s GRANDmom

In the USA alone…
· We have the highest average net worth of any other age group ($254,000)
· We spend $2 trillion every year on consumer goods and services
· 55 percent no longer carry a mortgage
· 75 percent are online
· 69 percent shop online
· 55 percent are on social networks

Imagine you are a marketer selling … well anything really — beauty products, fashions, travel, cars, home décor, electronics, whatever. Wouldn’t you want to reach the demographic who spends the most money, an audience who spends $2 trillion a year, and most don’t have to spend it on their mortgage?

I probably wouldn’t lay awake nights worrying about why no one wants to sell me anything but I have a larger suspicion about this. If marketers don’t want the non-leaking, non-creaking me because they think I’m too old to matter, perhaps it’s because society as a whole is done with me. I’ve been kicked to the curb already? I’m not ready to go!

Am I the one with the skewed thinking because I still enjoy wearing makeup, dressing stylishly, yet affordably, traveling, eating interesting foods, reading great books and publications, going to concerts and shows, running a few miles each day, and cooling down with a refreshing beverage?

Do marketers see me as an ignorable freak just because I do not leak and creak? The frustration is enough to make me want to streak! But then again, no one wants to see a 63-year-old running naked through the streets. And they certainly don’t want to sell her anything, not even the running shoes!


Tales From The Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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