I’m talking about lazy writing, specifically copywriting to drive sales.
Specifically, sales for the elderly and infirm like me.
Nope, not like me AT ALL (here comes the pathetic and lazy part) – but since I fall into the Boomer bracket, judging by much of the copy aimed at us, we are doddering, drooling, can’t remember how to wipe our
ass mouths, toys of Misfit Island.
Need an example?
The commercial that drives me to literally YELL obscenities is this one:
Garry can testify. It’s not pretty when this aberration of a sales pitch appears before me.
Let’s break the nonsense down:
~ It appears that granny has trouble with phones. ~sad face here~ But, not with driving a car, putting together a poppin’ outfit, being aware of her surroundings, or styling her fab hair – it’s just the danged smarty pants phone she can’t comprehend, cause she’s oooold. (it’s at this point I give the finger to the screen)
~ Grandma is obviously a dimwit, so why are you trusting your children with her if she can’t operate a silly o’l smart phone? THINK, WOMAN! Do you want a repeat of Timmy in the well?!
~ Condescending Daughter Voice: She ACTUALLY finds it easy to use. Grandma can find her way to a game, can drive the kidlets home AND finds the most simplistic of “smart phones” easy to use. You go, granny! You so clever!
~ It has a simple menu. Me thinks someone is projecting. Simple – just like her daughter.
~ Featuring the most revered 5-Star App that “turns the phone into a personal safety device.” Here in Texas, we call those “safety devices” guns. Granny be packin’. PEWPEWPEW
You see why I can’t…I just can’t.
I will offer that there are folks who do not embrace technology, who hate smart anythings, and maybe they’d prefer this phone. But framed in this way?
A: You old.
B: Your children worry.
C: They buy you a “smart” phone.
D: You immediately want to bring back corporal punishment.
As a copywriter, I am aware of what goes into selling. As a person of the Boomer generation, anyone who writes to us or about us in such a pathetic and lazy way has much to learn.
FOR THE RECORD: I understand they are relying heavily on children’s fear for their aging parent’s safety. The issue remains how they are portraying – what they actually think is true – about my generation.
The very subject came up in a copywriting group and the thread was a goldmine of spectacular ways to pitch to the age group and not get purse-full-of-candy-whipped.
In part it asked (there was much emphasis on us wanting to be young again – I left that out, but just know it was there):
We are honing messages to go out to baby boomers and seniors in the healthcare market.
Have…a good resource for understanding psychographics specific to these groups?
Specifically we are keen to attract middle class/wealthy seniors and boomers and understand they have very different values/drivers.
~rubs hands together~
As a Boomer (tail-end), I can say for me and most I know – we DON’T want to be young again; we want to live as fully and be as healthy as we can in the years to come. We’re embracing our age, yet want to maximize our health, especially as each year passes.
We see ourselves as fucking trailblazers – 50 being the new 40 and all that BS.
Fear of not being able to live as we want, as we age, is real.
We’re watching our parents struggle in ways we don’t want to, so we try to do things they didn’t: eat right, exercise, preparing for the worst, yet hoping for the best, in terms of our physicality.
There is so much bullshit marketing aimed at the over 55 crowd, assuming we’re doddering and inept. Yeah, not so much. We don’t feel old (forever young in our minds), but we are aware of what is (aging) – an awareness that doesn’t come across in much of the ads. Ads we mock.
Speak to this group, sell to this group, on the fear and pain of losing what they’ve trained for their entire lives – or imagined they’ve trained for – living well until death. Think of Boomers as seasoned athletes of life and that hate losing anything and fear having to settle for less than what they want.
Don’t use false claims (we’re educated, too) or hyperbole (shit, I just knocked myself outta the game). Speak the truth – there’s plenty of pain in truth – plenty of fear in truth.
I’m going to assume that no matter what your age, you can find some sales copy that is beyond pathetic and lazy and not as clever as the writer intended (um, I have done that faceplant before). It’s not just a thing for me and my compadres, it’s a thing for all.
The advice I gave this copywriter (then agreed upon heartily by those within my bracket) is true for every market.
~ Cut the BS. We’re people. We have depth. Do your homework.
~ Speaking to a whole as a stereotype is so 1960s – it can be fun, but it’s weak as hell. Prepare to get trolled.
~ False claims or images – we can smell ’em. We will mock ’em. We will tell others about it, so they can mock ’em.
~ Your mom, your grandma, was right: the truth will set you free. Sell us on the fears of the truth we know to be, right now, where we find ourselves. Do that and ever’one will want you to write their copy, you golden goose, you.
Whether you’re a copywriter or a content creator, my rant against pathetic lazy writing that misses its intended clever target, holds.
For the sake of arguing my pointy-point, I’ve focused on Boomers, but here’s what I wanna know:
Share your age bracket AND a pathetic lazy attempt to sell your people.
Oh, man. The idea of it makes me giddy.
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What you say is so true. I am 67 soon to be 68 and there is nothing doddering about me or my husband who is the same age. As my grandson in law said we are the most tech-savvy grandparents he has ever seen.
Ha! SEE, PEOPLE!