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Advertising & Marketing

Finding a way to position products and services to seniors, their family and friends, and their caregivers, is the new challenge for marketers and advertisers. However, it seems that the industry is already taking notice of the age-shift. Over the past three years, the demand for senior voices in advertising projects on Voices.com has grown by 25%.

Advertising projects incorporating senior voices include those within the categories of internet, radio, video games, podcasting, documentaries and movie trailers, most of which have seen individual growth of 50% or more over the past 3 years.

Priscilla Hagen

“The Senior work that I do really spans several categories. I have recorded most for documentaries, educational e-learning, internet videos, and business, completing voice over work for clients like AARP and Classtracks.com.” - Priscilla Hagen, Voice Actor, Minnesota, US

Market Segments Illustrating Growth in Demand for Senior Voice Over (2015-2017)

Over the past three years, the following categories of voice over application have experienced the greatest growth in demand for senior voices:

  • 128% - Cartoons
  • 116% - Movie Trailers
  • 88% - Educational
  • 75% - Video Games
  • 70% - Documentary

Adopting the ‘Senior Lens’ - Producing Accessible Content

As the population in the U.S. ages, the advertising and marketing industries must develop a ‘senior lens’ when creating marketing collateral and content for the growing senior market.

Sight and sound, the two senses most used to glean information from our surroundings, are also the two senses most commonly lost with age. Marketing and advertising professionals can get creative in how they deliver information to this demographic by designing visuals and audio that are more easily understood by seniors. In terms of visuals, large clear fonts, contrasting colors, etc. are helpful, but so is the addition of audio, as a means of making messages accessible even for those who are visually impaired.

Voice Over Can Help Creative Professionals Connect with Visually Impaired Seniors

Seniors with vision impairments account for 30% of the entire population in the United States. These vision impairments are usually ones that cannot be easily rectified with corrective lenses - rendering seniors unable to see and read important labels, such as their medication, calendar reminders for an important event, or the verbiage written on an ad in a magazine.

This is why voice over will come to play an important role in the lives of this demographic - they can benefit from having auditory reminders instead of having to rely on their visual senses alone.

Audio Editing and Accessibility Considerations in Scriptwriting are Key

When it comes to producing audio for seniors, considerations go beyond just making it loud. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the normal frequency range that people hear is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. The frequencies most important to audible speech range between 500 and 4000 Hz. When seniors experience high frequency hearing loss (one of the most common types of hearing loss), they typically lose frequencies between 2,000 and 8,000 Hz. Because of this, consonants such as s, t, k, p, and f become very difficult to hear. However, taking this into consideration in scriptwriting and audio production can make all the difference. For example, given that “s” can be difficult for older audiences to hear, scripting could incorporate synonyms for words starting with “s,” or ensure that the script contains plenty of context around that word for clarification.

Appealing to the Caregiver

As a group that could benefit from innovative products and services, caregivers - whether they be medical professionals, or friends and family - are also becoming an increasingly important target market for advertisers.

As it stands, 65% of seniors who are in need of long-term care rely exclusively on friends and family for assistance. Additionally, caregiving often starts before the age of 65. According to the Institute on Aging, as of 2011, some 43.5 million adult family caregivers were taking care of someone 50+ years of age. As more people live long enough to experience multiple health issues and dependency, more relatives will be facing this responsibility.

Currently, women are shouldering the majority of the work. The average caregiver is a married, middle-aged woman, working outside the home for $35,000 annually - and the economic value of the informal care provided by women is estimated at somewhere between $148 billion and $188 billion annually.

On average, caregivers spend 13 days each month on tasks such as shopping, food prep, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and administering medications. They also spend approximately 6 days per month on feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing, and assisting with bathroom breaks.

Over the next 10 to 15 years, an influx of products and services that make caregivers’ lives easier will likely be created, and will span across countless industries - from health care, communications, safety monitoring and more. In turn, businesses will require marketing and advertising resources not only for their senior audiences, but as well as their caregiver audiences.