Posted in Lore

Detachable Magazines

Motive fascinates me.  Every choice you make, is governed by motivation.  Whether you get off the couch to use the bathroom, or head to the kitchen, is motivated by a full bladder, an empty stomach, or maybe that Doritos commercial you saw.  Marketers know this.  It is their job to find out what drives you to part with your most prized possession; your MONEY.

diabetic livingJust for fun, browse the magazine isle at your local supermarket.  See if you can figure out what motivates the potential readers just by looking at the picture on the front.

I can tell, for instance, that diabetics will pay for a magazine that tells them they can enjoy a luscious brownie parfait layered with gobs of whipped cream.  Crafters get excited being reminded to start their Christmas projects in July.  Car enthusiasts like to think they can get a scantily-clad woman to lean against their car provocitavely — Okay, okay . . . who doesn’t? — but you get my point.

8579204216_9fb4c0ebd3It makes sense that if a publication appeals to a larger audience, they will have more people who will ultimately fork over their dough.  Consequently, you regularly see articles for “Look your best in your 30s, 40s, and over 50.”

The age bracket I now fall into is “over 50.”  Apparently, I am no different than those in their 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s.  We are all lumped together.  I am as likely to have ads directed at me for retirement, golf courses, and expensive vacations, as I am adult diapers and nursing homes.  If the baby boomer generation has the purchasing power they say we do, the marketers haven’t figured it out yet.

retirementEven the wrinkle-repair skin cream is advertised by models at least twenty years younger than myself.  Is it time for me to say goodbye to pretty cosmetics and succumb to false teeth and slippers?  Many of us in our 50s, 60s and 70s are still actively working out, buying computers, having *gasp* SEX, wearing make-up, and looking for some trendy fashion.  I have peers raising young children and starting new careers.  We grew up in the 1950s and 1960s.  We wrote the book on groovy and invented free love!  Now your going to tell us it’s time to tie a sweater around our shoulders and ride a bike with a basket on the front?  Hold on here!

I actually enjoy reading Cosmopolitan.  The fashion news is up to date, and the sex tips are always fun.  But when scantily clad boys stare seductively at me from the pages, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable.  Would it hurt to have one guy with a little grey at the temples . . . I mean, just to represent the small percentage of their readership over the drinking age?

I’d like to think I’m still a marketable demographic.  Yet, opening up the pages of this national publication, I found that this cover story actually included How to Dress in Your 30s, 40s, 50s and also 60s.


If you remember nothing else about advertising, remember this:

Nothing is an accident.

While I applaud their effort to include women in their 60s, from a marketing perspective, thirty-somethings are not going to pay for pictures of clothing for old people.  It is more profitable to this editor to sell publications to the younger group than the older one.  Thus, the 60-year old customer was not advertised to, and she will have to stumble onto the article by chance.

Are the “50 and over” customers a tough crowd?  Maybe we have grown too wise to be fooled out of our money.  After all, I know the models are airbrushed, and I’m never going to see my abs again.  (They left, actually, without leaving so much as a note.)  I don’t need advice on asking my boss for a raise.  (If I’m lucky they won’t notice I’m still there drawing a paycheck.)  I know diets are a farce and I plan on living each day like there are no brownies in heaven.  Only the AARP is still marketing to me, sending me eleven brochures every month.  So far, not even the promise of member savings and a secret handshake have been enough to loosen my purse strings.

Opening the magazine below, I was promised ageless, chic looks.  I found only . . . good God! . . . the Bride of Frankenstein!

And they wonder how they’ve lost the purchasing power of the baby boomers!

bride of frankenstein



Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it.

16 thoughts on “Detachable Magazines

  1. As soon as I had my 50th birthday I began to receive mail from AARP, as far as I know I still have a couple years before I qualify, but like you won’t send any money their way. I agree Cosmo is entertaining, although it’s gotten quite thin through the years, remember when it was the thickest magazine on the news stand? I don’t figure I am marketable as there isn’t much I buy and when I do it’s usually second hand.

    I find it ironic that as soon as Richard Gere got grey hair he was considered a hunk, but a woman who reaches a certain age settles for the mother/grandmother role if there is one. When’s the last time Goldie Hawn was in a movie in sexy role? She’s still gorgeous!

    Seriously the bride of Frankenstein was considered a chic style? Yuck maybe I don’t want them to try and market to me.

    1. Haha! Maybe we just don’t have the right event to sport that hair and . . . is that a veil? I wonder what they’d do if I showed up for happy hour looking like that?

      I had forgotten how thick Cosmo used to be.

      1. I thought that was some kind of veil but it just looks weird to me. The only place I can imagine fitting in with that hair and do would be on the catwalk. If you try it out I’d love to hear what kind of event it was made for.

        I hadn’t read a Cosmo in years until I saw one at my son’s house. I prepared to pick it up expecting it to be heavy and was shocked by how light it was.

  2. Loved this post. Your abs left without leaving a note? You are so quick witted, I’m still giggling. I rarely buy magazines anymore. Haven’t read all that I purchased a couple of years ago. I think I could build a whole wall with them. I think we baby boomers are tougher to market to anyway. The clothes are so outarageous, I’m heading back to the sewing machine.

    1. Never thought of myself as quick-witted. That’s why I write. I don’t have to think on my feet. I can think on my butt.

      Hahaha! Ok, so maybe I’m a little quick-witted 🙂


  3. Ahh, I have been caught with a cosmo or some such magazine at home…but … I am trying not to have those in my house. Not because the marketing is for those younger than me … but because the marketing is now even starting to affect my younger daughter. I know she will not be able to escape such things…but damnit, in my house I will try.

  4. I’m leaning against the car with a drink in my hand, A touch of Grey on the temples, and a bit more. Good job. I like reading your stuff.

  5. I think most of the over 50 crowd just reads different magazines. All the men in those mags have a touch of grey at the temples, because it’s “distinguished” on men. Women are expected to dye their hair until they die.

    1. This is very true. I did hear that the one thing that makes the biggest difference in the appearance of age is hair color. When the time comes I suppose I will consider it. Right now, the grays are mingling with the blonde. I laugh in their presence. I guess we shall see who has the last laugh . .

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