November 10, 2002

Better sharpen your Gen Y chops. Tuesday’s Advertising Research Foundation seminar looked at the future of advertising and saw life beyond the baby boomers.

“Very soon we are going to be at a point where the baby boom generation is no longer driving the economy,” said Pharmacia advertising director Paul Silverman. “To reach the next generation we’re going to need to be less geographic in our ad focus and less demographic. We will need to group people more by their desires.”

Silverman and other speakers during the forum “Is Advertising Poised For A Fundamental Change?” addressed the shift from demographics to different forms of audience grouping. Helios consulting president Sam Hill said that the concept of “tribalism” will be important as Gen Y gets older. For example, Harley-Davidson riders should be looked at as a group of people who have common interests and image, not a group of particular ages and geographic location.

Technology will continue to play an important role. Many panelists said the Internet was still an important part of their media mix, but the biggest tech topic of the day was TiVo. While nobody was ready to change their ad plans because of TiVo use in the short term, some panelists are actively investigating how to deal with growing use of PVRs.

“There are a lot of things that I’m concerned about in today’s market, like audience fragmentation, but I’m much more concerned about TiVo,” said Domino’s Pizza national media manager Sara Hall. “I love it. I’m a big hockey fan and I can watch a Red Wings game in an hour. We’re looking more than ever at ways to weave our brand into shows through product placements. That’s part of it. We have to be more creative so people don’t skip through our advertising.”

Hall also said that Domino’s is actively testing ad concepts with several iTV companies including Wink. Domino’s has been successful with home delivery in the UK through interactive TV links.

By John Gaffney
Courtesy of

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