Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh, "belay" this!

Ellen Byron, WSJ Feb5-6, 2011, says advertisers are spinning their brains out to grab that Boomer buck.

They are using “flattery, subterfuge, and euphemism” to waltz us oldies out of our money.

Wait—isn’t this what all advertisers do?


Those ADT people with the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” necklace are told never to remind people that they are old. Yet, the telephone people are told to speak fast and get to the point. Apparently, shaky old people still don’t like patronizing BS. Good sign there.

How about those “adult diapers” we so DEPEND on? Well, for one thing, they are now “underwear.” And they are mixed in with tampons in some stores so people won’t feel like they are going to the geezer aisle.

The investment company Invesco tells brokers offer coffee cups with handles (you know we can’t handle—so to speak—smooth Styrofoam) Put in lamps, not overhead lights, they are told, and turn off the TV—too much glare and background noise for us.

Those grab bars—Kohler renamed those “belays,” trying to evoke mountain climbing expeditions of yore. Yeah, all those mountain climbs—remember them well.

Type is getting bigger, contrasts better.

What’s up with the term “senior citizen.” Many of us are not citizens. Trying to make us feel like part of the society? Well, can it.

Stuff is being moved to convenient shelves in stores, signs are bigger. Some aisles will have chained-up magnifying glasses.

Actually, I welcome a lot of this. Which idiot decided the door to the library should be about a mile around back of the building? Why are there steps everyplace and few curb cuts? Can you say curb cut? Or is it “skateboard access for really really young people”?

Sure, make it easier. I see plenty of young people sitting on the benches in the mall—which reminds me, why don’t all stores have a few damn chairs?

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