Is there life after 54? – ZoomerU

Is there life after 54?


Is there life after 54? You might not think so, if you looked at where ad dollars are concentrated.

The media buying target that is commonplace today — adults 25-54 — is based on the assumption that the 25-34 age segment is critically important, and marketers don’t have to pay too much attention (and certainly, not budget) to those older than 54.

Is this even remotely supportable?

Let’s argue for shifting the target by just 10 years. Drop 25-34 and add 55-64. How do you net out?

When you look at population of both groups, it seems to be a wash. There are 5,059,000 people between the ages of 25-34 and 5,195,000 between the ages of 55-64. (These and all other stats in this article come from Vividata Fall 2018)

But how do they perform in the marketplace? At ZoomerU, we went through the numbers. And the results are not…to put it kindly…very subtle. I

n category after category, measurement after measurement, the 25-34 demo underperforms relative to its percentage of the total population, and the 55-64 age group overperforms.

Here are just a few highlights:


– 1,445,000 in the 25-34 group have a household income of over $100,000 vs. 1,782,000 in the 55-64 group — a difference of almost 300,000. The 25-34 index is 90; the 55-64 index is 108.

– 2,985,000 in the 25-34 group own their owns homes (index 81) vs. 4,236,000 in the 55-64 group (index 111)

– 608,000 in the 25-34 group have total investments and savings (excluding their home) of over $250,000 (index 75) vs. 1,069,000 in the 55-64 group (index 129)

Consumer spending

– 1,111,000 in the 25-34 group have 3+ credit cards in their own name (index 89) vs. 1,517,000 in the 55-64 group (index 118)

– 1,522,000 in the 25-34 group spend an average of $1,000 a month on their credit cards (index 87) vs. 2,020,000 in the 55-64 group (index 112)


– For 1,518,000 in the 25-34 age group, their mostly acquired vehicle was a new one (index 82) vs. 2,151,000 in the 55-64 age group (index 113)

– 580,000 in the 25-34 age group spent $40,000 or more on their most recently acquired vehicle vs. 703,000 in the 55-64 age group (index 103)


– 1,587,000 in the 25-34 age group took a vacation trip outside Canada in the past year (index 91) vs. 2,003,000 in the 55-64 age group (index 112)

– 167,000 in the 25-34 age group spent $2,000 or more on their most recent Canadian vacation (index 76) vs. 260,000 in the 55-64 age group (index 116)

In a way, it’s not surprising that the 25-34 group underperforms: they’re made up entirely of Millennials now. And that means they’re carrying all the economic baggage that the Millennials are struggling with.

In the past, advertisers could reliably count on age 25-34 to mean: independence, setting up the first household, marriage, young children. The Baby Boomers achieved those benchmarks when they were in the 25-34 bracket. So did Gen X. But for the Millennials, it’s been as struggle. The key “life stage” benchmarks are being hit later and later.

This isn’t to write off the Millennials. They’re a huge generation, numerically, and they will exert a tremendous impact on the marketplace. But not yet. They’re just not doing it. And advertisers who are,  through their media allocations, over-relying on them, are going to take a sales hit. The numbers tell the story.

What about your own numbers? Are you putting your ad dollars where you have the best chance of converting the investment into sales?

Today's Factoid


Number of Zoomers investors who have personally traded online over the past 6 months. That's more than all other age groups combined. In fact, Zoomers account for almost 60% (59.5%) of all Canadians who have traded or managed investments online over the past 6 months.   Source: Vividata Spring 2018.