Zooming the Zoomers : The portrayal of older consumers in printed adverts and the perceptions of this portrayal of younger and older consumers

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, EMM (Entreprenörskap, Marknadsföring, Management); Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, EMM (Entreprenörskap, Marknadsföring, Management)


Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is two folded: firstly to do a content analysis on how consumers older than 55 years (Zoomers) are portrayed in advertisements in the largest Swedish magazines, and secondly, to uncover what perceptions of this portrayal that older and younger consumers have.

Background: The population of the world is growing older, and thus older consumers (+55) are a large and rapidly growing group of the population which also are strong in purchasing power. Research indicates that older consumers are neglected in advertisement, which might be due to a low participation rate of older models in adverts. Some researchers indicate that this is due to a fear among advertisers to use older models in advertisement since it could alienate younger consumers from purchasing the products. Previous research is ambiguous concerning the effectiveness of using older models in adverts. Therefore, this thesis will examine how Zoomers are portrayed in adverts and what perceptions older and younger consumers have on this portrayal.

Method: The purpose of this thesis was fulfilled by conducting a magazine content analysis of adverts, and by conducting focus groups with Zoomers respectively consumers aged 20-30 years. To analyze the results, theories with a base in psychology and advertising was used, e.g. the cognitive age theory, the key concept theory and the self-discrepancy theory.

Conclusion: Zoomers are included in 14 percent of Swedish adverts and are portrayed in a positive manner, which is a portrayal both older and younger consumers are content with. Zoomers want to be included more frequently and indications are discovered that younger consumers might be positive to an increased use of older models in adverts when trust is essential.

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