Silver generation as leads in Indian advertising

Have you seen the Swiggy ad aired during the Cricket World Cup 2019? Of course, you have – I read that it is the most liked ad during the world cup so far. What’s unique about it, besides the wit?

It has 2 leads who fall under the ‘silver generation’. I *LOVE* this ad. It makes me smile every time I see it. When the man in the left says, ‘Good choice’, I find myself saying it too along with him, every single time 🙂

Seen the new Vodafone ads? It continues where it left last time, featuring The Dhananjayans – Shanta and her husband V.P.Dhananjayan. They belong to the ‘silver generation’ too.

(It’s an entirely different thing that the comments under these ads are consistently about how terrible Vodafone’s network is.)

And Charulata Patel, who has been signed on by Pepsi last week? She’s 87.

Senior (not to imply that he is from the silver generation!) marketing professional Ambi Parameswaran recently wrote that we have around 130 million senior citizens in India, roughly 10% of the total population. And yet, we do not see much mainstream advertising that features them in the lead roles, even as they do play a side role with the lead being played by kids or teens or people in the ages of 20-45 range.

I reckon the reason is similar to why most ads feature fair-skinned, well-built (‘shapely’, for both genders) people. When I say, ‘model’ (in advertising) your mind frames a certain kind of man or woman automatically – relatability, to the largest demographic set. There is nothing wrong or right in this – it is, after all, a commercial decision.

Even in the Vodafone and Swiggy ads, the products/services are not specifically customized or created for senior citizens – they are standard services or products that anybody could be using/buying.

But, good to see the diversity in demographics in our advertising.

Related reads:
1/ Tops corn flakes and the choice of models in their ad
2/ Using older models by Vodafone is really smart advertising (Hindustan Times)
3/ Going for the silver in the grey (The Hindu BusinessLine)
4/ Advertisers turn attention to an untapped demographic—seniors (Livemint)

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