2016 | 2(16) | 4 | 77-91
Article title

Identifying the portrayal of 50+ consumers in Polish print advertising

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This article raises an issue of consumers at the age of 50+. The role of this market segment is constantly growing in Poland, but despite of this, it is still hard to identify this wide consumer group. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to identify the portrayal of older people (50+) in Polish print advertising. Amongst over-fifty consumers, the press media are still the key communication channel for spreading marketing recommendations to this consumer group. Content analysis was employed to define the characteristics of these consumers. The research demonstrates that firstly, the older generation is depicted mostly marginally, secondly, women are over-represented, and thirdly, only a few product categories portray the older models at all. Two schemes 'brand ambassador' or/and 'representative of a consumer target group' were used to reflect the portrayals of this market group. In spite of the common opinion, that the market segment of people of 50+ is uniform, the findings suggest that older consumers are not homogeneous. A new age segmentation for the elderly has been proposed. The older market segment is sharply divided into two groups ('mature' and 'elderly'). The age of 60 is a strong demarcation line here. The portrayal of 'mature' consumers at the age of 50-59 covers 50% of all the engaged older consumers in print adverts. Over 10 different portrayal models have been found in the market communications analyzed. The contemporary 'mature' ones differ substantially from stereotypical models reserved for elderly consumers. Over 7 different models, mostly still 'young bodies and souls', are adapted to express the portrayal of this target group. However, for both the elderly 'young' and 'mature' (60+) sub-group the models are much more predictable and traditional. The segment of 80+ does not exist at all in print adverts. Generally, the portrayal of 50+ is more complicated and diverse than it is commonly believed in practice.
Physical description
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