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I'll Buy That

Deborah McAdams is the Executive Editor of TV Technology.

It feels even better to write it than to say it: I'm right. I'm right to be flabbergasted that Madison Avenue continues to value 18-to-25 year-olds over all other demographics on Planet TV. The metric is from the Paleolithic, when people in that age range slept six to a porch to get out of their parents' house.

Today's 18-to-25s seem less likely to spend every dime they make washing dishes on stereo gear they listen to while standing around a spool. As far as I can tell, their habitat of choice is mom and dad's, where the food-shelter-clothing-insurance-broadband-laundry fairies reside. Let's not get into which of the two generations is clearly smarter.

Let's instead consider who has control of the wealth and why the advertising industry blows them off. According to Houston-based Media Audit—which must be right because it agrees with me—"Alpha Boomers" 55-to-64 have the dough:

"Despite the presumption by many that these older Boomers lack buying power, one in five Alpha Boomers still make $100,000 or more in average household income and they are more educated than their younger counterparts, giving many advertisers reason to sit up and pay attention."

There's an assumption that older people are set in their brand loyalties. I know this to be wrong, because when I shop, I carefully calculate the price-per-volume ratio divided by my personal consumption rate and buy whatever I was brainwashed into by the previous night's rerun of "Criminal Minds." My girlfriends with adult kids living at home do the same thing, only with triple-axel trucks at Costco.

So wake up, Madison Ave. Red Hats and old dogs are an untapped well. Let's see them in something besides pharma ads and AmeriGlide infomercials. They like gourmet food, music on physical media, and Vibrams. Trust me on this. I'm right.