AARP Campaign Marks Boomers’ Coming of Age

As the calendar turns to 2014, the youngest of the Baby Boomer Generation—people born between 1946 and 1964—start to turn 50. In celebration, AARP has launched a yearlong initiative, [email protected]+, to recognize that this generation is passing the 50-year milestone.

“The generation that didn’t want to trust anyone over 30 is turning 50,” says Patricia Lippe Davis, vice president of marketing for AARP media sales.

Among those hitting the 50-year milestone in 2014 will be Michelle Obama, Steve Colbert, and Lenny Kravitz. “Our marketing goal is to celebrate our membership,” Davis says. “We want to recognize the vitality of this group.” 

The effort is expected to help support AARP’s marketing goals (see “AARP Adapts Its Marketing Channels”): providing content that members value; keeping members engaged in conversations on a variety of topics; and convincing prospects to join or members to renew; and encouraging members to participate in advocacy movements around areas like Medicare and Social Security.

About one third of the estimated 76 million Baby Boomers are AARP members, according to Davis.

The year-long celebration will include many initiatives across the group’s media assets, including the website and the magazine and social media outreach, to increase member engagement.

The website has a dedicated landing page, which will feature different content, Boomer birthday information, and video interviews with prominent Boomers throughout the course of the year. The content will also be available at HuffPost 50 through a content exchange agreement.

AARP will run a six-part series in its publication, AARP The Magazine, about the impact Boomers have had on aging, fitness, retirement, and technology; Boomers as grandparents; and prominent Boomers, one from each of the generation’s 19 years. These 19 iconic Boomers will also be featured in portraits by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders that will be part of an exhibition at Newseum in Washington, DC. The exhibition will run from September through March 2015. The 19 Boomers will also be featured on a PBS documentary, for which AARP will offer a companion book.

Consumer Cellular is sponsoring core elements of the program in print and digital, and at both of AARP’s member events for $4 million. This is an exclusive sponsorship.

A complement of the celebration is the marking of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ February 1964 first live performance in the U.S., the day after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the group’s first performance on American television. AARP will be the social media sponsor of the anniversary event, to be held in Washington, DC on February 11. Many older Boomers can remember exactly where they were when the Beatles first performed on the show, Davis notes.

Through the social media sponsorship of the Beatles concert, the six-part magazine series, profiles, and the other facets of the [email protected]+ campaign, AARP aims to again add to its magazine audience, which grew by 900,000 to 35.2 million readers last year, and to sustain or grow its 37 million–strong membership base (19 million of which are Boomers).

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