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Designing Creative for Older Adults and Seniors

When designing creative for older adults and seniors, it’s essential to understand what their motivators are and how they process information.

For over 25 years, Coming of Age has been designing creative that connects and resonates with the over-50 age group, with outstanding results for our clients. Our creative approach is based on our deep understanding of aging audiences.

To connect with seniors and older adults, follow these five key guidelines in developing your creative:

Lead with Imagery

The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, so when designing creative, make sure to catch the audience’s attention with imagery that is relevant and relatable. Maximize color contrast, and use images to illustrate information. Keep in mind that an effective use of white space allows your messaging to resonate more quickly. And, since 80% of text on a page isn’t read, copy also needs to be streamlined, clear and focused.

Tell a Story

Another important creative aspect is telling a story that draws the audience in, keeps them interested and retains their attention. The story doesn’t have to be long, in fact, it should be brief. It just needs to have a beginning, middle and end, and should be a story that the audience can imagine playing out and finishing in their own mind.

Create an Emotional Experience

Receptivity to emotional content increases with age, so creating an emotional user experience that mirrors the audience’s values and current life stage is important. Avoiding fear, guilt and anxiety as emotional motivators is key to reaching the senior markets, since they do not respond well to these types of messaging in creative. Instead, focusing on emotional motivators such as happiness, nostalgia, trust and belonging are good ways to reach them.

Be Customer-Focused

It’s important to focus on what the benefits are to the audience, rather than the features of the product or service, and to convey these benefits clearly, quickly and directly. As people age, they search for positive experiences to fulfill the need for meaning in their lives. In order to gain the attention of the 50+ audience, products/services should be positioned to generate meaningful experiences.

Be Authentic and Genuine

Seniors and older adults are more resistant to persuasion and less influenced by overstatements, since they have been marketed to their entire lives. In your creative imagery and copy, it’s important to be authentic, genuine and give them the facts they need in order to make a decision or purchase.

Following these five tips on design for older adults will help your creative resonate more effectively with audiences over fifty. Remember, there are now 3 generations in this age bracket—Older GenXers, Baby Boomers and Seniors. So, if you need a hand figuring out your audiences, developing creative to reach them, and executing media plans, contact us to learn how we can help.

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