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    Adweek- AARP Unexpectedly Taps a Spoken Word Artist to Reach Gen X Adweek- AARP Unexpectedly Taps a Spoken Word Artist

    3/15/18

    By Patrick Coffee | March 14, 2018

    AARP isn’t strictly about retirement. And it’s not just for Baby Boomers, either.

    A new campaign from the 60-year-old organization and its agency of record Grey New York reminds us that the time has come for Generation X to enter its fifth decade—and my, how the time files.

    The work also takes a notably different approach from past campaigns in encouraging young(er) Americans to reconsider their golden years with the help of spoken word artist and Def Poetry Jam veteran J. Ivy.

    The anthem spot debuted during American Idol’s return this week. The brand refresh comes as this country’s demographics evolve along with, as J. Ivy mentioned above, the very definition of aging.

    “We serve all people 50-plus, and the oldest Gen X’ers are 53,” said AARP svp of brand integration Barbara Shipley. “We do lots of generational studies … and while people don’t always act the way generational trends dictate, there are lots of truths in those trends. For us, it’s about building an emotional connection with this [younger] set because it’s so much more important to them.”

    Even within the so-called Baby Boomer generation, the older cohort views its relationships with brands differently, Shipley said—and AARP wants to better cement a unique identity among consumers who aren’t quite ready to start considering life on Social Security.

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