You probably don’t have to.
The other day in the gym, I looked up at the TV and saw this 15-second spot for Lee Jeans' ‘Modern’ series, and realized that Lee’s agency, GSD&M created an that deftly appeals to Baby Boomers, without actually casting anyone who looks much over 40.
GSD&M didn’t offer an answer when I emailed them to ask whether the brief for this ad specifically mentioned older consumers. (Looking at the campaign overall, I’d say their primary target for the Modern Series jeans is guys in their thirties.) But, for the purposes of this post, it doesn’t matter why they made a great ad for older consumers, it just matters that they did do so.
Here’s the ad. Watch it once through, and then read on...
OK, here's why, even though it’s targeting millennials, I know this ad is also resonating with a key secondary audience: Boomers.
And look at the set dressing/location: It looks like some place you could actually carry on a conversation.
Check out the close... The message isn’t, “It’s what all the hipster douchebags are wearing, you know you want a pair.” It’s not even, “Get the girl.”
Nope, it’s all about quality, materials, and fit. The little computer mannequin on the screen suggests that, somewhere in the database, there’s a body like the average Baby Boomer’s. And look at the propping: The vintage Wilcox & Gibbs chain stitching machine that is literally under the word 'crafted' could (and does) appeal to the real hipsters who want selvage denim, but it also sends a message about craftsmanship that resonates with older consumers — who, yes, want to look good — but also want to be able to tell themselves they're buying quality.
The difference between the millennials' message and the Boomers' message is subtle: Lee's telling the millennials, "We'll help to make you the person you want to be, or at least we'll help you look like that guy." At the same time, the message that I take from this ad as a Baby Boomer is, "These jeans are made for people like you."
GSD&M and Lee did a great job of sending both of those messages with one ad. And the best part is, the millennials don't have to know the ad also works for me.