By Tami Anderson, principal, andHowMarketing

Teenage girls, with their fickle tastes and insider lingo and eye rolls at our feeble attempts to relate, would seem to be the most intimidating audience of all for a marketer to try to reach. Yet, the majority of marketing dollars and high profile campaigns are still directed squarely toward Gen Y, while Boomer women get a shuttered-before-it-was-launched apparel store from Ann Taylor and an open invitation to Menopauseland — where virtual postcards structured with a few multiple choice slots reminiscent of Mad Libs (perhaps those born outside the digital age cannot be trusted to type their own sentences) can be sent to friends, letting them know that your “crabbypants” mood has been lifted.

Crabbypants. I’m not kidding. What year exactly do they think menopausal women were born, 1910?

Why do most marketers seem to not want to touch Boomer women with a 10-foot pole and those who do fall so short of the mark? Estroven, inventors of Menopauseland, started out on the right track, by listening. But when women told them over the course of almost a year of research, as reported by Stuart Elliott in the New York Times, that they think of menopause as “not horrible,” “not all bad” and “not the enemy,” somehow the company and its ad agency heard “tropical vacation.”

And so Menopauseland, where cougar-seeking young men flash six-pack abs and women “of a certain age” are blissfully free from their periods, was born. A spokesman for BrandBuzz, the agency behind the campaign, calls this “a more positive and realistic approach” to menopause. More positive for sure. Realistic?

The problem lies in something our culture is not very good at right now –- nuance. Yes, this is what I mean by marketers going gray: as in not one-dimensional, as in not good or bad, as in not black or white, as in not sexy or staid. After reaching a certain point in life, it’s clear there are no easy answers. Just look at the range of issues and opinions offered on this website alone.

While young people are fickle, they are also more easily corralled around an idea or trend, as we once were, too. It is the age of wanting to belong and, as a marketer, when you hit that bulls-eye you win big. But brands can win big with Boomers, too. They just have to be willing to let themselves go a little gray.

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