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According to a report from AARP Research, companies seeking to improve sales and connect with consumers should produce advertising campaigns that show people of all ages. Advertisers should show ads with age diversity especially if they want to target consumers ages 50-plus, who say they are eager to buy from brands that represent them, according to the results of a new AARP survey.

Mirror/Mirror: AARP 2019 Survey of Women's Reflections on Age, Beauty, and Media by Colette Thayer, Ph.D., and Angela Houghton, found that, overall, 69% of consumers ages 50 and older say media images are ageist, and 62% of consumers in the same group would consider switching to a brand they feel represents people their age. Among women ages 50 and older, this openness to switching brands based on representation jumps to 70%. However, the desire for age diversity in ads is not limited to the older population. Among adults ages 18 and older, more than 70% say they are more likely to buy from brands whose ads feature people who are a mix of ages.

On average, women use six beauty and personal grooming products each day, devote at least 30 minutes per day to their beauty and personal grooming regimen, and spend $40 per month on beauty and personal grooming products.

SOME KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  •  Intrinsic definitions of beauty trump extrinsic definitions — and get even more prominent as women age. 
  • Women make a significant investment of time and money in beauty. 
  • Yet, as women age, they have unmet beauty needs. 
  • In fact, as women age, they are more likely to feel the beauty industry treats them as an afterthought, and they are less likely to see themselves represented in media.
  • Across generations, women would like ads to have more age diversity and more authentic images. • Women reward brands that promote real inclusion — including age.

See the full report here.