Age ain’t nothin’ but a number

By Admin posted on May 30, 2017 in Change, News

By Marcelle Ventoura

When is old new, and young old? We look at the rise and rise of the ‘midorexic.’

“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”  Robin Swarma.

At Mr Mumbles, we recognise that in order to affect change for the organizations we work with, we need to understand the changes that are happening in the world around us.

One such change is the ageing global population – with around one quarter of the world’s population in 2017 aged 50+, and the number of people aged 60+ set to more than double to 2.4 billion worldwide by 2050 (UN, 2015), the economic importance of older people is not to be ignored. Even more so considering that they are also the wealthiest segment of spenders – over-60s currently spend some $4 trillion a year and rising.

Why? People are living longer, healthier lives, working later, and spending more than ever before. In fact, the phrase ‘midorexia’ has been coined to describe this new wave of people who are spending (and living) younger than their years. Currently, with fewer financial responsibilities and the benefits of previously booming housing markets, McKinsey Global Institute calculates that pensioners in the developed world spend an average of $39,000 on consumption compared with $29,500 for the 30-44 age group, and they represent as much of an opportunity as millennials for savvy marketers.

In Australia, according to the ABS, at least 15% of the population (or 3.4 million people) is over the age of 65. Meanwhile, figures collected by the RBA in 2013 show people aged 55 to 74 have higher assets and lower liabilities (and therefore higher net worth) than other age groups.

Some fashion and beauty brands are already recognising the spending power of older people. Whilst legendary fashion photographer Nick Knight’s iconic campaign for Levi’s and BBH over a decade ago broke the mould by heroing older models, more recently brands like Gucci, Celine, Saint Laurent, Gap, L’Oréal and Luis Vuitton have all featured models aged 60+. These brands are cashing in on the fact that ‘midorexics’ are likely to have greater disposable income and more time to enjoy leisure pursuits than their younger counterparts.

Whilst in the past, in marketing and advertising terms, age and relevance were seen to be inversely related, social developments are telling us that if age is a determinant of relevance, then the older people get, the more relevant they’re becoming. Where fashion and beauty brands have lead the charge, other brands and categories are sure to follow.

If you want to know more about how we can help you change the way people think, feel, and do in relation to your brand, contact Ben Porter, our Brand Development Consultant on +61 423 055 675 or via email –

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