Ignore older people at your peril – BBH launches Silver Culture Project


BBH London has launched ethnographic research highlighting the attitudes, interests and desires of older people and offering brands advice on how they can best tap into the often misunderstood demographic.

Silver Culture Project

The Silver Culture project aims to help the advertising industry address its biggest blind spot – the over 65s, a lucrative audience with more time, more money and more purchasing power than any other generation.

With many brands cutting off their segmentation at age 65 or even earlier, and agencies rarely seeing briefs focused on older people, the project wants to shatter the monoculture of old perpetuated by the advertising industry, help unlock the silver pound and raise awareness of silver culture.

BBH London’s ethnographic and broad reach research project, carried out over two years, has resulted in an in-depth insight into silver culture for marketers.

Sampling was carried out among those aged 65-80, to create a segment comparable to Gen Zs, Millennials, Gen X, while an insights panel survey was carried out among 500 65+ year olds in the UK, recruited from a national representative framework.

Further, immersive research was carried out among a group of 20 people aged 60-80, featuring in-depth interviews, home tours and ‘show and tells’.

Key learnings from the research include how today’s over-65-year-olds see the ‘third act’ of their lives as a time of liberation, purpose and the chance to try something new, with many feeling more confident than ever in both their bodies and identities.

They also want brands to be less earnest and try to get to know them better – 73% don’t feel that marketers or brands understand them or their desires.

The research is represented visually by a redesign of the iconic shopping trolley, reimagined to reflect what over 65s told us they actually want from brands.

Jessica Garlick, Senior Strategist, BBH London, said: “We want our industry to be as obsessed with silver culture as we are with youth culture.

“The over-65s hold most of the UK’s wealth and offer businesses the opportunity for growth that young people once did.

“The Silver Culture Project is about understanding this lucrative audience better, and looks to help us challenge our assumptions about who our brands are for.