‘Tis The Season for… Our Holiday Ad Roundup

The holiday season is in full swing, which means a plethora of holiday ads. With a very active interest in all things Active Ager, we naturally apply a critical eye to the holiday ads launching almost daily from around the globe.

Brands know that consumers are in the mood to spend, so are delivering some attention-grabbing ads to win their business. The creative behind these ads often features emotional, nostalgic, and humorous themes – and this year is no different.

Below we have rounded up some of the most memorable ads (at least from an Active Ager perspective) we’ve seen this current holiday season. In the spirit of generosity, we decided to highlight four spots we really like and just one that could benefit from a little improvement.

Predictably, there was a notable absence of the 55+ audience in most commercials this year, especially when you consider their spending power during the holiday season.  We think many marketers are still missing the mark with this lucrative age group. So, hats off to those who didn’t – well done!

Penny, “Weihnachten ist für Kinder. Also für uns alle.”

This advert for the German supermarket chain conveys a meaningful reminder to older adults: the holidays are a time for everyone to have fun, not just children. The commercial pulls the viewer into believing the featured group of friends – running around, sledding, laughing – is composed of kids, until one person has their hat blown off, only to reveal grey hair. The overarching campaign – coupled with a social media contest – aims to ignite the feeling of holiday joy in everyone, regardless of age … because when it comes down to it, age is just a number.

Age of Majority Reaction:

Nerf, “Holiday Gifts: Walmart”

Short, and to the point: this spot demonstrates that grandma really knows what’s up. She not only knows what the hottest new toys are, but she knows how to use them herself. She’s also not shying away from a little competition, clearly coming in first place as gift-giver of the year. The depiction goes against the common stereotype of the “old granny” who gives the same, boring gift every year (i.e. inexpensive beige socks). It shows her as “Gift Giver #1”, who should rightfully be targeted by toy brands for getting their products into the hands of children.

Age of Majority Reaction:

Lowe’s, “Doing The Holidays Right”

Big thumbs up for the realistic depiction of older adults to begin with, and secondly of older adults with technology. While it might seem mundane or obvious to most, the father’s seamless use of video chat with his daughter is a sight not often seen in commercials. Beyond that, this spot does a great job of highlighting some other key aspects of the Active Aging consumer: the mix of online/offline shopping demonstrated by his enjoyable in-store visit, as well as his trust in using an in-store expert.

Age of Majority Reaction:

Allegro, “Album”

Every year, Allegro – a Polish e-commerce platform – debuts a holiday ad that follows the story of an older adult. This year, the spot draws heavily on inter-generational themes, focusing on the relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter who seem to be “out of touch” with each other because of the perceived barrier of age (and the stereotypes that go along with it). The commercial beautifully dismantles these stereotypes by effectively showing the grandmother as active, in-touch, and tech-savvy – which allows her to deeply connect with her granddaughter. We also love the overall message: generations have more in common than they might think. They just need to discover it.

Age of Majority Reaction:

Hobby Lobby, “Christmas Is What You Make It”

The arts and crafts store has put out an emotional – yet dare we say, depressing – commercial where an older man finds himself alone during the holidays, in a dark house, without much to do. He receives a holiday card in the mail, hand-decorated by his grandson. He smiles a bit. The commercial ends. Missed opportunity? Most definitely. Beyond the confusion over the spot’s intended target audience, this could have been an excellent opportunity to target or engage the Active Ager – perhaps showing them crafting with their family, connecting over their creative passions, or buying gifts for their circle of friends.

Age of Majority Reaction:

We’re always keeping our eyes peeled for interesting and relevant ads. So, stay tuned for more ad roundups in the future… but most importantly, enjoy a happy holiday season!

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