Loyal media users are forgotten
What type of activities do modern retirees do? They do yoga, travel and stay in touch with their grandchildren via Skype. They buy services, organic food and new cars.
However, they are depicted very differently in the media, says communications strategist Helena Raulos. She works at the Kolmas ikä (the ‘Third Age’) office and knows her target group, which consists of growing numbers of older people.
In the media, older people are usually featured in negative contexts such as news about problems in institutional care services. Advertisers do not understand pensioners but try to sell them anti-age creams instead of cars.
"Senior citizens are heavy users of media, and they should be shown appreciation. This can be done in various ways, by the choice of interviewees or images, for example," says Raulos.
"Advertisers should realise that this group has real purchasing power. They are not poor even if this is the traditional idea of older people."
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, has also raised some questions concerning older people. The fact that people live longer was one item on the Fund's list of trends.
According to Sitra, Finnish pensioners are among the most educated and healthiest retirees in the world. They want to be in charge of their own lives and decisions that concern them.
"Plus they are not afraid of new technologies," says Raulos, clearing up another misconception.
Raulos explains that pensioners are a varied group in terms of their media use; some prefer using online or mobile services while others prefer print media. Admittedly, they are more likely to follow the traditional forms of media than the younger age groups.
A survey carried out a couple of years ago found that 89 percent of those aged over 65 read a regional newspaper at least once a week. Only television managed to attract more interest from this group according to the survey carried out by Tietoykkönen.
The group is quite divided when it comes to using social media. Raulos says that some spend a lot of time on social media, while others want to have nothing to do with it and refuse to use Facebook, for example.