Monday, 3 November 2008

The generation game

I was very interested to read about a new (ish) phone called the Jitterbug, over on Brand Channel. This is a "no frills" phone that's easy to use with just the essentials. I was looking for a mobile phone for my mother a few months back and it's a shame that this hasn't hit Europe yet as it would have been just the ticket.

However, as ever in an article about a product for "seniors", the terms started to get confused in the article. We started off with "65 and over", then moved on to the familiar territory of "seniors" and the rather curious description "older adults". And then the author launched into something about "Baby Boomers" - which I think is my generation, so rather alarming as I don't think I'm a "senior" just yet.

Later, all was revealed as the author told us the origins of the name Jitterbug: "Jitterbug was a dance style made popular in the mid 1930s, so the name squarely targets consumers who remember that era." Well, that makes the target group at least 80, then.

Maybe the problem is that all this marketing putting-generations-in-boxes stuff didn't really take off until those famous Baby Boomers were running the show (and dismissing the next generations as X, Y and Z, rather unimaginatively.) They never really got round to finding a nice snappy label or two for the generations before. What do you call those born before 1945? War babies? Depression Kids?

I don't know, but it must be quite nice not to have been put in a box.

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