I’m still not buying it

7899185_sBoomers, “famously rebellious and demanding,” don’t want to be reminded that they are getting old.

So companies are making typefaces larger and lowering shelves, while marketing is filled with flattery and euphemism. For example, they are avoiding yellow and blues in packaging, since older eyes don’t see them as sharply defined as other colors.

Consider these other examples:

• Financial advisers offer cups with handles instead of Styrofoam and use lamps instead of harsher overhead lights.
• Kohlers calls their grab bars “Belay,” a rock climbing term. Apparently climbing out of the tub can be an adventure.
• Depends now “look and fit like underwear,” with younger models in their TV commercials and packaging that looks just like regular briefs. They spent two years developing this line, since they expect 45 million boomers to need incontinence products by 2020.
• CVS has been retrofitting stores with carpeting to reduce slippage, and lowering their top shelves from 72 to 60 inches.
• Walgreens is putting magnifying glasses in aisles with cleaners and other products that have fine print.
• Sherwin Williams, going after a market very likely to sell their homes and downsize, has introduced better lighting, more seating and free coffee, while reducing the fine print on their product displays.
• Arm and Hammer has increased the print size on their cat-litter by 20%. Who knew cats were having trouble reading?

All this may work, too. After all, they did sell us hulu hoops and bell bottoms. Why not a “Belay” bar to get out of the shower?

Not for me, though. I’m on to them. I’m going to want the blue box on the top shelf, thank you very much.

The one with the Depends.

[Recycled Wednesday—this was my popular post in the last ten year, published back in 2011. It was Freshly Pressed by the good people at Word Press and generated a lot of extra traffic. Enjoy. ]

Advertisements

About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

2 Responses to “I’m still not buying it”

  1. I still want a hula hoop.

  2. Stellar essay. And i’ll look for the Depends when they make a further concession and change the package to purple.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: