Whatever you do, don’t call older clients ‘seniors’

Report offers insights to FAs marketing to older Canadians

Whatever you do, don’t call older clients ‘seniors’

When we call older people ‘seniors’ we might think that it’s showing respect to our elders but that couldn’t be more wrong according to a new report.

Today’s cohort of Canadians aged 55+ are not like retiring and retired generations of the past; they see themselves as adventurous and capable and don’t want to be stereotyped.

A report from reverse mortgage lender HomeEquity Bank along with neuroscience research firm Brainsights and ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, shines an informative light on the views of older Canadians; valuable insights for FAs working with or marketing to this generation.

"Today's Boomers are living longer, they are healthier and have more empowered lives than in the past.  Naturally they respond more positively to messages that reflect a more contemporary lifestyle," said Yvonne Ziomecki, Executive Vice President of HomeEquity Bank. "They don't see themselves as helpless or frail and certainly don't want to be reminded of this stereotype. This new research proves something that HomeEquity Bank has known all along - that Boomers see themselves as a positive force with wisdom to be valued as they make informed decisions to manage their retirement in an empowered way."

Seniors? That’s just offensive

The use of the word ‘seniors’ is worth avoiding as nearly 80% of respondents said they don’t want to be called that. In fact, 30% would rather not be given a label at all.

When shown a variety of advertising video content, respondents showed greater levels of attention, connection and memory in response to content that depicted the positive reality of today's Boomers.

"Age-based identities are created and reinforced by society and through media and marketing that set expectations for how people should behave and conform," said Kevin Keane, Founder and CEO of Brainsights. "But 55+ audiences don't see themselves as old and frail. They're wise and energetic, with a passion for teaching, legacy and life fulfilment. That's why advertising that presents aging in a positive light, like the HomeEquity Bank spots, are so successful."

Desire to share

Canadians aged 55+ have strong desire to create a personal legacy and to share and impart knowledge to other generations.

They are also receptive to nostalgia tailored to their generation.

"Sixty-year-olds see themselves the way forty-year-olds did in the past. They have the attitude, the ability, and the money, to be major players in the marketplace for decades to come. Marketers who don't 'get' this – and who don't reflect this in their messaging -- are leaving literally billions of dollars on the table," shared David Cravit, Vice President of Zoomer Media.