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UK Insights

Old people younger than ever

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Consumer Leisure 26.07.2013 / 00:00

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Being 'old' now happens much later than it used to and over 65s don't feel their age

As Mick Jagger celebrates his 70th birthday a new poll has found that older people feel younger than ever and that being 'old' now happens much later than it used to.

The research by Kantar company, Added Value, shows older people are a multi-faceted audience with many different needs, motivations and desires. What is consistent though, is that almost no-one feels their true age and this is especially true of over 65s, with 41% saying they don't feel their age. The notion of being 'old' happens much later than it used to, only 11% of people consider 60 to be old. Although Mick Jagger, who recently rocked Glastonbury with the Rolling Stones, might be disappointed to hear that two thirds think that someone 70+ is old.

When asked to name an older celebrity they admire, Helen Mirren topped the list, followed by Bruce Forsyth.

Top 5 older celebrities admired by the British public:

1.            Helen Mirren
2.            Bruce Forsyth
3.            Judi Dench
4.            The Queen
5.            Sean Connery

When asked what types of older people they admire, people who are embracing getting older naturally (35%); who ignore their age and focus on their skills (32%) and who make older age look fun and stimulating (27%), were considered much more admirable than those who've used a variety of ways to hold the years back and don't look their age (4%).

'Baby Boomers', 'Greys', 'Silver Surfers'… Whatever their label, the over fifty audience will soon reach a staggering 2 billion people globally. For the first time it's the fastest growing demographic, and not one to be ignored. In the UK adults born between 1946 and 1964 make up 35% of the population and have the highest disposable income of any age group.  However, our poll has found just 4% of people over 65 think that technology brands address the needs of older people very well. When asked to name technology brands that do address the needs of older people, Amazon was number 1 amongst the over 65s, followed by Skype and Dyson.

Lee Manning-Craik, director at Kantar's Added Value says: "Many in this older cohort are liberated from their family and social obligations for the first time, and have both the economic freedom and time to explore new hobbies and interests. It's why we refer to them as 'The Unstoppables' and it's why companies should sit up and take notice of their needs."

Source : Kantar, Kantar Added Value

Editor's Notes

Journalists, Lee Manning-Craik is available for interview. Lee is a leading insight and brand expert with over 14 years helping clients such as SAB Miller, GSK, Forevermark to better understand peoples' wants and needs. Contact us for more information.

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