Invisible Generation: Just 4% of people in ads are 60+

over 55The evidence continues to pile up that brands are overlooking older consumers and missing out on a lucrative audience, with new figures showing just 4% of people cast in ads are over the age of 60, underrepresenting almost a quarter (23%) of the UK population.

The CreativeX study, which assessed over 126,000 global ads released in 2022 and supported by $124m in ad spend, follows a report by independent media agency The Kite Factory which showed that over 55s watch twice as much TV as the average adult but are 30% less likely to see themselves in the commercials on screen.

According to the CreativeX analysis, with a higher disposable income than younger generations, the 60-plus demographic represents roughly 25% of global spending power, yet only 3% of digital media budgets are allocated to ads featuring this audience.

When older adults were shown on screen, almost two thirds (65%) of them were featured in family and domestic settings. Despite the average retirement age standing at 65 and going up, less than 1% of older adults were cast in ads that placed them in professional or leadership environments.

Previous research by CreativeX found that while female representation in ads is lacking, it only gets worse in the over 60s cohort. Women aged 60-plus accounted for less than 2% of all people in ads. While 10% of women aged 26-59 were shown in leadership or professional situations in ads, this dropped to under 1% for women aged over 60.

CreativeX founder and CEO Anastasia Leng said: “Today’s ads continue to paint a picture of our society that’s not representative, or inclusive, of what we see in the real world.

“While these findings may not be a shock to many, our ability to measure at this level of granularity and track our casting and storytelling decisions in near real-time, is a technical feat: we finally have the tools in place to analyse something previously opaque at unprecedented scale.

“This is the first step towards ushering in greater creative inclusivity and making ads that represent us in our many multi-dimensional ways.”

Related stories
The folly of youth: Adland fails to woo older shoppers
Over 55 ‘Zenners’ are driving the home shopping boom 
Training gulf puts marketers ‘on the scrapheap’ at 55
Over 55s are ‘early adopters’ but don’t bother with ads
Over 55s spend more time on tablets than teens

Print Friendly