Demographics Are Absurd

By Alan Ralph on August 2, 2020 — 1 min read

Doc Searls turned 65 around this time in 2012, and he has thoughts on that number and what it means to advertisers:

The demographic I entered between the last sentence and this one, 65+, is the last in the usual demographic series and the least desirable to marketers, regardless of the size of the population in it, and the disposable wealth it is ready to spend.

Thus I have now fallen over the edge of a demographic cliff, at the bottom of which is little of major interest to marketers, unless they’re hawking the cushy human equivalent of parking lots. You know: cruises, golf, “lifestyle communities,” “erectile dsyfunction,” adult diapers, geriatric drugs, sensible cars, dementia onset warnings…

For individuals, demographics are absurd. None of us are an age, much less a range of them. We’re animals who live and work and have fun and do stuff. Eventually we croak, but if we stay healthy we acquire wisdom and experience, and find ourselves more valuable over time.

Yet we become less employable as we climb the high end of the demographic ladder, but not because we can’t do the work. It’s mostly because we look old and our tolerance for bullshit is low. Even our own, which is another bonus.

I turned 52 this past month. Or rather, I completed my 52nd transit around the Sun. That has a lot more meaning to me. If anything, I feel better now than I did last year, two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago. Not everything is rosy, but I’ve gotten some control now over those things that I can control, and I’m evaluating where to go from here in order to live the best life I can. Not the life that advertisers and marketers envision for me.

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