There is a fundamental problem that copywriters face in writing copy or content aimed at the over 50s demographic. They need to find a new word for describing this age group, because the words in common use are starting to sound overworked and in some cases they even cause real irritation.
Is anybody a Senior?
For instance, the word “Senior” will cause anybody in their 50s, 60s or 70s to shy away from the product or service you are promoting. These age groups do not see themselves as Seniors and yet the word is quite commonly used to describe them. It is not uncommon to find the word Senior across all types of advertising – print, digital and electronic, although print is probably the guiltiest. In an informal experiment we offered a free copy of a publication to 100 or so adults who seemed to fall into the 50 to 80 age group by appearance. The publication had the word Senior in its title. Nobody less that 70 even looked at it, let alone accepted it. No – I tell a lie – one 50ish lady took it “for her mother”! Only those who appeared to be 75+ stopped and sometimes accepted a copy.
In the 50s and 60s age group, being referred to as a Senior, even causes offence. So it is very surprising how many products that are actually aimed at a much younger age group i.e. the 50s and 60s, still carry the word Senior in their brand name, in advertising copy and in articles and other content.
Different For Some Cultures
The one situation where it makes sense to use the Senior word, is if your target market are cultures, particularly Asian cultures where seniority of age is respected to a high degree. So unless you are preparing copy for a predominantly Asian demographic or for the 75+ age group; avoid the word Senior to refer to your target market.