Generational News & Views Newsletter 2.29.09

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Information about Generational News & Views Newsletter 2.29.09

Published on March 16, 2009

Author: Stutts



The Luckie-produced Generational News & Views newsletter for February 2009

BOOMERS: 45 to 63 years old POPULATION: 78 million GENERATIONAL INSIGHT: Technology wish list for purchase in next 12 months (those in their 50s) • HDTV • Laptop • Cell phone • Desktop computer • GPS Source: The Consumer Electronics Association 2

Forget bingo and checkers. For today‟s retirees, Wii bowling is the name of the game. Now all those silver-haired virtual bowlers can compete for cash prizes on the Senior Wii Circuit. Thousands of players across the country already participate in Wii tournaments just for the bragging rights. The new league ups the ante by letting them earn real money on a virtual tour of senior centers and retirement homes. League mastermind Catherine Masters is no stranger to competitive sports. In 2000, she founded the National Women‟s Football League. As the league expands, Masters plans to add other Wii sports. The beauty of Wii bowling (and any other virtual sport) is that anyone can participate, even the wheelchair-bound. Add cash prizes to the mix and you give older consumers even more incentive to stay vital. With aging Boomers poised to swell the ranks of seniors, more and more companies are zooming in. Want to cozy up to the demo? Sponsor a Wii bowling team. If the Wii circuit takes off, watch for players competing on niche cable nets. Source: Iconoculture 3

Baby Boomers long considered Facebook as a frivolous Internet novelty that gripped young people but was of no conceivable interest to serious people. That was then, this is now. Within the past half year or so, Facebook has breeched the Boomer barrier. Boomers first started receiving “friend” requests from younger colleagues. Many set up Facebook profiles out of curiosity. The random friending requests turned into a trickle, and the trickle became a flow. Then came the e-mails from friends, and the requests to join groups, and invitations to go places, etc. The Facebooking of the Baby Boomer generation was first recognized in early 2009 as a bona fide social phenomenon when a writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette penned an article, OMG! Mom‟s on Facebook! The online interaction raises a host of social dilemmas that Boomers have never confronted before. What happens if you‟re friended by a boss you don‟t like? Is it better to reject an unwanted friending request outright, or is that too harsh? Is it better to simply leave such a request hanging? Closer to home: Is it appropriate for a Boomer to “friend” his 23-year-old daughter? And should he take umbrage if she turns him down? Source: 4

You‟ve heard the saying, “I‟m a visual person.” Well, for the visual Boomer woman who also sports a good sense of humor, MenOpop is a unique guide to menopause inspired by her more youthful days. The 14-page hardcover book, which has been covered by CNN, ABC World News, The New York Times and Maxim, is filled with interactive features such as pop-ups (picture a 3-D uterus or Miss MaPeriod as the centerfold), games and activities. Positive feedback from readers includes comments such as, “We were able to laugh out loud about something that sometimes can bring tears” ( 2.09). For many women, the physical changes and emotional uncertainties that accompany menopause may very well ring a bell from youthful days … like adolescence. A lighthearted approach to an important rite of passage provides education as well as comic relief for serious discomfort. Source: Iconoculture 5

It has been established that Baby Boomers are becoming more savvy when it comes to technology and use of the Internet. That said, there are moves afoot to answer the question: Now that they‟re on the Web, where are Baby Boomers spending their time? One such effort comes from the Baby Boomer Knowledge Center which has identified several popular hangouts: • Boomer Diva Nation • Boomj • Eons • Facebook • Friendster • • National Association of Baby Boomer Women • Silver Planet • Vibrant Nation Source: 6

After retirement, MaryBeth DiCecco became disenchanted with life in the United States. So she settled down in Mexico instead. “It‟s enriching,” DiCecco said of her home in La Misión, Baja California Norte. “I get to do charity work and live within a wonderful community of people.” With 76 million Baby Boomers approaching retirement in a country with an ailing economy and rising health-care costs, many are choosing to move south of the border to live more comfortable lives for less money. Retirement experts in Mexico say the cost of living for American citizens in Mexico is about 40% cheaper than in the U.S. And a visit to a general doctor typically costs about $35. “Many groups in Mexico want to develop retirement communities,” said Javier Godínez, president of the Mexican Association of Retirement Communities. “People want to keep the same quality of life they have in the United States, but they want it for a fairer price.” About 1.2 million retired Americans and Canadians already live in Mexico, and that number is expected to approach 8 million as Boomers retire and discover how modern and safe life can be in Mexico. Source: The Brownsville Herald 7

GEN X: 32 to 44 years old POPULATION: 53 million GENERATIONAL INSIGHT: • 80% of Internet users shop online • 67% of Internet users bank online Source: Pew Internet Life Study 8

Virtual-world children‟s game Elf Island is harnessing the enthusiasm of its pint-sized patrons to make real-world impact on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. Elf Island‟s creators are donating money to help Habitat for Humanity build real houses in Honduras for every 10,000 virtual houses that kids “build” on the island. Kids assemble the houses by playing games to win necessary building materials for the project. Habitat for Humanity isn‟t the only nonprofit enlisted in Elf Island‟s “Gaming for Good” campaign. Other organizations receiving aid based on kids‟ gaming exploits include WildAID (protecting sharks in the Galapagos Islands) and Plant-IT 2020 (growing new trees in Niger). By appealing to altruism and ensuring a safe environment, games such as Elf Island are targeting the parents who pay the bills just as much as the children who play the games. Charitable gaming means mom and dad can feel less guilty about Dick and Jane spending hours on the Web rather than playing outside. Source: Iconoculture 9

Finding a reliable babysitter can be tough. Sitter Soirees in Portland, Oregon, streamlines the process with “speed-dating” sessions that bring parents and sitters together at informal gatherings held in family-friendly boutiques. Soiree founder Jen Fererro recruits potential sitters from local colleges and employment Web sites. The dozen or so who make the cut out of 50-70 applicants boast impressive creds, from special-needs experience to bilingual fluency. Parents pay $45 to attend the Soirees, some with toddlers in tow. Once a match is made, sitters charge the standard rate: $10-$15 an hour. Sitter Soirees are catching on in other cities, including Tampa, Florida. Speed-dating works for singles. Why not babysitters? The opportunity to chat casually with candidates, and compare them with one another, gives parents a better feel of whether a sitter‟s right for them. In today‟s danger-fraught world, parents demand rigorous reviews. They‟re also looking for sitters to stimulate the kids, not just park them in front of the screen. Source: Iconoculture 10

Scott Langteau has this message for kids: Spend less time playing video games. It‟s a message that many a mom and dad have tried to impress upon many a youngster who spend perhaps a wee bit too much time with game controllers in hand. Langteau has just published a children‟s book called Sofa Boy, which tells the story of a kid who spends too much time sitting on the couch with controller clutched in hand and the rather dire consequences that follow. Langteau would like make one thing clear: “I‟m not saying that you shouldn‟t play video games. I think video games are great. I think they do great things for kids.” Instead, Langteau says his book is all about a little something called “moderation.” Langteau says he hopes his book will be a good way for parents to chat with their kids about making smart decisions regarding the games they play and how they spend their time. Source: MSNBC.COM 11

Schlepping toddlers and their stuff around can be a daunting task. Packtoozi streamlines the job with a complete packing system that makes it easy to tote, find and replenish everything from diapers and toys to sunscreen and snacks. Parents stock basic supplies in the pockets of a hanging bag that serves as home base. When they‟re ready to hit the road, they pack all the gear in color-coded zippered pouches that slip into separate sections of a roomy tote. A shopping-list pad encourages reminders for the next trip to the store. Eco-friendly Packtoozi packs are made of 100% organic cotton and help reduce waste by cutting down on throwaway bags. Forget simple diaper bags. On-the-go parents want multiuse systems, like DadGear‟s sporty diaper vest and convertible Lilly Gold Nap-Sacs, which double as changing tables. Time is money, especially when you‟re juggling toddlers with work. Even in a recession, parents are looking for smart products that help them get a grip on busy lives. Source: Iconoculture 12

Some men want a sensory escape but just can‟t quite stomach candle scents like Strawberry Dreams and Tropical Sunset. The Manly Candle Company is filling this niche need with its Mandles: candles that capture the scent of masculine stuff. What does masculinity smell like? There‟s The Hunting Lodge, Clean Laundry, Yardwork, Leather (as in: a new car or work gloves) and Cedar Forest (reminiscent of closets or shop class). They even have a holiday candle: Frozen Mountain Air. Though women may be primary candle purchasers, it‟s important to remember there‟s a male audience that‟s also interested in freshening the air. But these guys don‟t want to bring home a candle with ultra-feminine packaging and a super sweet scent. Source: Iconoculture 13

GEN Y: 11 to 31 years old POPULATION: 84 million GENERATIONAL INSIGHT: • 74% feel personally impacted by the recession • Family Guy, Heroes and That „70s Show are the top three TV shows they would most like to live in • 54% would rather give up TV than give up social networking Source: Cassandra Report study of 14-32 year olds 14

From their passion for Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers to gossip sites just for them (Just Jared Jr.), tweens are as obsessed with the cult of celebrity as their US Weekly-reading elders. Combining their love for Hollywood stars with their fervor for collecting is a new series of trading cards called PopCardz. Like baseball cards for celebrities, each pack of PopCardz holds five cards, grouped at random. Each card is double-sided, with the front having a celebrity photo and the back filled with quotes, personal information, a secret and a favorite charity, all penned by the person featured on the card; in keeping with their socially conscious inclinations, a percentage of proceeds from each celebrity‟s card goes towards his/her favorite charity. Naturally, the cards are complemented by a 2.0 element in the form of an online community where collectors can track their collections and earn points redeemable for prizes upon entering codes included with each card. Users can even “star” in, and trade online, their own digital PopCardz by uploading photos of themselves. Source: 15

With thousands of social networks globally, only a handful of them cater specifically to Gen Y. This group is raised on technology, so much so that their cell phones are extensions of their hands and text messaging, instant messaging and Facebooking are how they interact with others, even different generations. While Facebook is home sweet home, various other social networks cater to this demographic and are worth looking at. Read very detailed post here. 1. Brazen Careerist 2. 20 Somethings on Ning 3. My Barack Obama 4. My Yearbook 5. The Quad 6. Cool People Care 7. Unigo 8. Make Me Sustainable 9. iMantri 10. FD Career Source: 16

In an effort to promote math education in the U.S., Nintendo has partnered with nonprofit organization Mathcounts to challenge middle school math clubs across the country to up their membership numbers for a chance to win Nintendo DS handhelds and copies of the Personal Trainer: Math title. Between now and March 25, Mathcounts will randomly choose four schools with at least a dozen participating students in its Club Programs to each receive 20 DS units and an equal number of copies of the game. The game encompasses more than 40 math exercises from basic addition to extensive multiplication, where up to 16 players with a DS can participate simultaneously in a wireless race to solve equations. Mathcounts is a national enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes math at more than 48,000 middle schools in the U.S. Source: 17

The 18-to-24-year-old set is famously media-drenched, with high Internet and mobile phone usage. However, these young adults are not solidly opposed to brands themselves, and they are willing to spread the word about the ones they like. That is one of the findings recently released by Synovate in their “Young Adults Revealed” study. When asked about their online brand engagement in the past month, 28% had talked about a brand on a discussion forum, 23% had put brand-related content on their instant messaging (IM) profile, and 19% had added branded content to their home page or social networking site. Nearly 50% had clicked on online ads and 18% had accessed brand and product information through a portal. Nearly one- quarter had uploaded ads to social networks and online video sites in the past month. “They are more than just „comfortable‟ with brands,” said Julian Rolfe, global manager at Synovate. “They want to associate themselves with brands they see as „cool‟ and this is why we see them uploading clips to their social networking sites and IM services.” Source: 18

In a new initiative for 2009, toy manufacturer Mattel is hoping to capture the demand for online play with a new Web strategy. A launch date is unknown at this time, but a new online destination featuring games tied to hallmark Mattel brands for both girls and boys, including Barbie and Hot Wheels, is expected to further extend Mattel‟s 2.0 presence. One that already includes hits such as virtual world Source: 19

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