Video: Advertisers focus on Boomers

By Anne Thompson Chief environmental correspondent
NBC News
updated 12/11/2006 7:58:40 PM ET 2006-12-12T00:58:40

In advertising, image is everything. So to attract aging baby boomers — the generation that once proclaimed "never trust anyone over 30" — advertisers are turning to some icons of their youth.

Dennis Hopper, the counterculture rebel of the movie "Easy Rider," pitches retirement planning; “Star Trek's” Mr. Spock, pain relief, and “Rocky Horror's” Susan Sarandon escaped the time warp to turn back the hands of time for Revlon.

Boomers are creating new markets for companies like L'Oreal.

Are boomer women looking for the fountain of youth in a jar?

"Absolutely, absolutely," says L'Oreal President Carol Hamilton. "They will never, ever not be looking for that."

But Hamilton says they don't want to be sold cosmetics by a teenage model. So L'Oreal hired Diane Keaton. She made her first fashion statement in "Annie Hall." And her latest one in "Something's Gotta Give." Dressed in white to recall the movie, she is again the face of her generation. Lines and all.

"She wears her glasses in our ads," Hamilton says. "We do not retouch her. We give her a little bit of help, but absolutely make her look beautiful, but it is authentic beauty."

Boomers want authenticity and individuality, as many are in different life stages: Some are grandparents, some are new parents, some are empty nesters.

"You better find somebody who really, authentically personifies individuality," says Saatchi & Saatchi's Doug Pippin, who chose Hopper for the Ameriprise campaign.

At stake, the $2.3 trillion that boomers have to spend. And that's why today, suddenly, everything old is new again.

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