Historically, advertising has not been kind to the elderly, often relying heavily on outdated cliches that are no longer true. This is unfortunate as the elderly make up a significant portion of the population who consume television during the day.
Nowadays, ads that offer realistic portrayals of the elderly tend to be quite uncommon, however we have been able to find some good examples of ads that offer a balanced and accurate reflection of the aging population. Here we have some of our favorite examples:
1. The Perfect Example of Realizing a Dream
This Aquarius ad tells the story of Don Justo, when he was 80 years old, a man who has been building a church on his own for decades with recycled materials in the town of Mejorada del Campo, Madrid. In this ad he is portrayed as a person who has never given up on his dreams. The ad does a good job of emphasizing how incredible it is that human beings are unpredictable no matter how old we are.
2. A Reflection of the Passing of Time
One of the most common tools in advertising has always been using well-known faces to sell a certain product. For example, in L’Oréal commercials it is common to see famous faces from classic cinema, such as Helen Mirren or Jane Fonda, who look good for their age and are also champions of feminism.
3. Between Clichés and Advice
Another example of advertising where older people act as protagonists is the case of the Campofrío commercial. It talks about the importance of nutrition in order to stay healthy as you get older by showing healthy looking seniors. Unfortunately, this ad does recycle some of the most hackneyed stereotypes of elderly people as we can see them playing games like dominoes or bridge.
In short, although there are some positive representations of elderly people in ads, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that seniors are more accurately represented in marketing.