Like a fine wine: Older adults more active than ever, but misrepresented in media

ENGLAND — It’s generally believed that as people grow older they become less active and social, but a new survey has found that the modern 50-something adult is living their life to the fullest. Furthermore, the survey found that most older adults and baby boomers feel misrepresented by popular brands and advertising today attempting to target their age demographic.

The survey, commissioned by travel company TUI UK, consisted of British adults over the age of 50.

According to the data collected, the majority of older adults regularly frequent local bars for a drink, go out to dinner, and attend concerts. In fact, one in 10 even say their sex life has never been better. Many baby boomers are up to date on pop culture as well, with most of the respondents reporting they would rather watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones than older TV programs.

While it is clear from the survey’s results that older adults aren’t as antisocial and unconnected as some may think, it is also apparent that current advertising practices towards over-50 adults aren’t working.

In total, 20% feel the way advertisers depict middle age is completely wrong. When it comes to specific industries, 25% felt clothing brands misrepresent them, with 14% naming the beauty industry, 16% citing the music industry, and 12% grumbling at the travel industry.

“It’s a time where many have fewer responsibilities as children have grown up and flown the nest, as well as having more disposable income than they did when they were younger,” says a TUI UK spokesperson in a statement. “The lifestyles of over 50s are reflecting this and brands need to learn more about the age group to make sure the image they show of this generation is correct.”

Interestingly, the data also indicates that despite the fact that older adults are going out more, the popular belief among younger people is still very much that older people are generally boring and uneventful. More than 40% of respondents said they believe younger adults under the age of 30 consider them to be “old.”

Additionally, 19% of respondents believe that younger people see them as “uninteresting.” Researchers also referenced additional data that found one in 20 younger adults believe people over the age of 50 never have sex.

“We all have an idea of what we perceive over 50s do and think – and this stereotype is often informed by movies, TV and advertising, we know there’s a whole group of middle-agers who are energized adventurers and this latest study shows middle age is an active and social time of life,” the spokesperson says.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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Ben Renner

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