Overlooking the baby boomers?

There are almost 100 million consumers in the United States who are age 50-plus.

They control more than $8 trillion in assets, more than 70 percent of the disposable dollars in the U.S.

Yet they barely get passing notice from American advertisers.

Indeed, this wide-ranging group of consumers — the fastest-growing and wealthiest demographic in the U.S. — spends billions each year on travel, electronics, automobiles, apparel and much more. Often those purchases are made in spite of marketers’ and ad agencies’ best efforts to ignore them.

Instead, the makers and marketers of those goods and services, collectively spending billions each year trying to get consumers to want their stuff, remain fixated on the 18-to-49 demographic — an obsession which, ironically, started in the mid-1960s with the leading edge of the baby boomers.

"If an alien landed on our planet and sized up our market, they’d quickly see that it’s the biggest and fastest-growing group, and yet why marketers want to ignore them is beyond me — but they do," said Steve Bernstein, president and chief operating officer of ad agency Bernstein-Rein.

Some see an enormous opportunity slipping past those who sell the things with which we define our lives.

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