WPP AUNZ report shows the over 50s audience needs more from brands


• Chief Strategy Officer and Futurist with WPP AUNZ, Rose Herceg, comments

According to new research, Australians over the age of 50 have the highest levels of wealth and disposable income, outspend millennials in entertainment, auto, health, travel and almost every other category – but are largely ignored by brands. 

The WPP AUNZ report called Secrets & Lies – Ageless and Booming – also reveals that a whopping 94% of the over 50s dislike the way organisations and marketers communicate with them.

Rose Herceg, Chief Strategy Officer and Futurist with WPP AUNZ said the new study shows Australians aged 50+ are clearly booming in number, and lifestyle, and embracing life with ambition, purpose, and money in their pockets.  But this ‘ageless’ outlook by the over 50s is poorly understood by marketers who often misfire with the demographic.

 “More than a quarter of all Australians are over 50, they have 46% of our disposable income, and 50% of our private wealth and yet it’s almost impossible to find organisations and brands that understand this high value audience,” she said.  “This is all the more startling when you consider the unrivalled opportunity that lies in their enormous purchasing power.

S&L Ageless Infographic

“It appears that marketing has an ageing blind spot – and as a result, many may be missing out on a significant new target.  As an industry, we need to deconstruct every outdated idea about people over 50.  We need to realise that they’re connected, they’re calling their own shots and they don’t like being labelled.  To ignore them is folly – and misrepresenting them with bland imagery or assuming they are winding their lives down risks rejection.  That could be a very expensive communications mistake to make in what is a highly challenging, and ever-changing marketplace.”

The report also identifies that despite this incredible purchasing power, as an industry, less than 5% of the briefs received from marketers specifically target the over 50s.  

To help brands forge these relationships and better connect with the over 50s, WPP AUNZ has identified a six-point action plan for marketers which includes the following recommendations for marketers.

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