BOOMERS VS. ALL OTHERS: So Much for the Notion of an Orderly Progression

Divide American men into Dads (age 46 and older), Boomers (30-45) and Younger Brothers (18-29). Which is the odd generation out? ManScan, a study commissioned by Rodale Press’ Men’s Health magazine, points to an answer. In some regards, the research finds ‘a natural progression of values with evolutionary movement from one generation to the next.’ For example, asked whether they disapprove of ‘trying to outsmart the system, even if it’s legal,’ 48% of older men, 36% of boomers and 28% of younger men agreed. But on many issues (see chart), the 46-and-over cohort is surprisingly in accord with the 18-29ers, while the boomers are on their own. Boomers have grown up as inner-directed individualists, suggests the report, while the generations on each side of them ‘tend to be more outer-directed, taking their cues from family and friends.’ Along the same lines, ‘for boomer men, the good life is an active, passionate pursuit. For dad and younger brother, the pursuit of the good life is a more defensive exercise.’ So, if the generation that still runs most American corporations is more in sync with twentysomethings than either group is with the boomers, might this provide a basis for older brands to reach younger consumers? It’s an intriguing possibility, anyhow.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)