3 Brands That Optimized Their Super Bowl Spots by Targeting the 50-Plus Demo

Opinion: This age bracket is the most active and ready to spend online

three people standing on a dart being held by a hand in front of a yellow and red target
All three spots used celebs over 50 to help get their messages across.
Getty Images

This year’s Super Bowl welcomed a brand-new first-time advertiser: Facebook.

To make its Super Bowl debut and promote its Groups feature, Facebook selected Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone to star in a 60-second spot. At ages 54 and 73, respectively, these two iconic celebrities both hail from a powerful consumer demographic: the 50-plus audience.

Facebook isn’t the only major technology company to feature 50-plus stars in ads during the Big Game.

In an emotional spot that some considered to be one of the game’s best, Google featured a widower asking his Google Assistant to recount favorite memories of his wife.

In a more lighthearted ad, Amazon’s Super Bowl spot starred 62-year-old Ellen DeGeneres, who promoted voice assistant Alexa alongside her wife, Portia de Rossi.

What’s more, to generate advanced excitement around these ad campaigns, both Amazon and Facebook had their stars promote the spots on social media, with Stallone sharing a teaser on his Instagram and DeGeneres tweeting out to her 79.4 million Twitter followers.

Big investments targeting a high-powered demographic 

With this year’s Super Bowl attracting 99.9 million viewers and the average cost of a 30-second spot reaching a record $5.6 million this year, the Super Bowl is clearly a place advertisers are seeking to make a big investment and major statement.

But why is the 50-plus audience so coveted that tech titans like Facebook, Google and Amazon would spend in excess of $10 million to run TV spots featuring this demographic in addition to reaching them through other media?

Simply put, 50-plus consumers are responsible for at least $8.3 trillion in annual economic activity and account for 52% of our nation’s annual consumer expenditures.

What marketers can learn

Based on their advertising focus, it appears that these tech companies know that the 50-plus demographic, with its enormous spending power, is online and there to stay.

While 50-plus consumers are just as likely as younger people to go online, there is a big differentiator in how they use digital media. Unlike younger Americans who tend to window shop online, 50-plus consumers are there for a purpose. When 50-plus consumers go online, they do so with a special task and goal in mind and are actively seeking products and solutions. This means they are closer to making a purchasing decision and thus are more receptive to advertising messages for everything from health and finance to travel to real estate to entertainment.

In fact, the 50-plus audience accounts for one-third of all online sales, with online shopping as the second most common activity they engage in online. With research indicating that consumers in this demographic spend roughly $400 online every three months, the 50-plus audience is a smart target for marketers looking for strong returns on investment for their digital advertising spend.

The 50-plus audience is a consumer group that can most profoundly impact your bottom line. If you also want to reach the 50-plus audience like Facebook, Google and Amazon, reach them where they are: online, where they are seeking products and solutions and are ready to take action.

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