Friday, May 14, 2010

When Taste Transcends Age

When I started selling radio in 1983 the demographic most clients were interested in targeting was Adults 18-49. There was an unspoken assumption that when someone turned 50 they lost their ability and desire to make a purchase.

I didn't question it then. I was too young. All I cared about was that my country music radio station delivered a  good rating and I got bought and earned my commission.

The world's changed a lot since the media landscape was comprised of only print, television and radio.  But that sought after demographic remains 18-49.

Now I question it.  Alot.  I am past the upper limit of that target. I confess I still make purchases and they are often ones that hardly fit into what  the media planners seem to think  my taste is.

Take last week when I stopped in to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of The Carrie Diaries. For those who have not heard,  Candace Bushnell has published a prequel to Sex and City.  It is the story of Carrie Bradshaw's senior year in High School. Harper Teen is the publisher.  Teen as in Young Adult. That's who the book  is aiming to reach.  I really stretched out of the demo on this one when  I, on the other side of fifty, bought a copy. For me.

And I read it. Every last page. Not to mention that I enjoyed it and would recommend it to any fan of Carrie Bradshaw.

I think Candace Bushnell did a wonderful job creating the adolescent version of Carrie.  While the story is of high school love and angst,  anyone who is in my demographic knows that while we might grow older,  the venues, dress and amount of money in our pockets change,  but the issues never really go away. The only thing that shifts is how we deal with them.

So yes,  I liked it and I am hardly the pre teen target.   And yes, I will go to see Sex and the City2 when it opens even though all the advertising for that movie is being targeted for the 18-49 set.  And I will buy the DVD when it comes out to add to my collection. I have  every season of the show and the first movie. I find that when I am feeling a little blue, nothing is a better happy pill than an episode of Sex and the City.

I am a fan, one that transcends what is considered the traditional buying target and perhaps an exception to the rule. But maybe not. Maybe you have your own example of what you will go out of your way to buy that you know is being targeted for someone much younger. The world's changed since the days of three network television stations and no Internet.  So have people's buying tastes.

1 comment:

heliotrope said...

When you think about it, it's just pure "age-ism" that excludes me/us and targets an 18 year-old ... a student with no budget or space, for example. Why should mature professionals not be included in that hot demographic? Like you, Joanne, I buy "young" -- and always will.