Marketing Advice from a Nonagenarian
The marketing inspiration for today comes from America’s much-loved treasure, Betty White. She made her television debut in 1939, has dominated the airwaves and the silver screen and is still an incredibly effective powerhouse brand despite having just turned 92. What is her secret?
Name a long-running television show or a blockbuster romantic comedy, and chances are it featured Betty White. She has starred on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, Santa Claus: The Movie, Disney feature Hercules, The Simpsons, The Wild Thornberrys, That 70’s Show, Malcolm in the Middle, The Bold and the Beautiful, Boston Legal, 30 Rock, The Proposal, You Again, Animated comedy The Lorax and is currently starring in Hot in Cleveland and her own show Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.
This impressive filmography (which doesn’t even begin to cover her huge catalogue) covers over 60 years of media broadcasts. Yet, unlike most brands, she has been able to buck the trend and still maintain her relevance to the current population. Her role has changed over the years from attractive model to grandmother figure but there is one thing that has kept her relevant.
Always staying at the front of trends.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Betty White’s appeal stems from her ability to move with the times and shake the ‘stuffy’ feeling that brands get after many decades of popularity by keeping up with the younger generations. She speaks out on issues that are important to young generations such as marriage equality. She is not afraid to swear and make a fool of herself. And most importantly, she is willing to recreate the Miley Cyrus Wreaking Ball video.
Fully clothed, of course.
The kind of irreverence that she shows in her interviews and material choice relates very strongly with the trend setters who happen to be younger viewers. And as a result she has managed to avoid falling into obscurity through sticking with out-of-date expectations, a common pitfall of many older generations and long-standing brands.
By listening to the style of entertainment that is craved by younger generations, she has been able to hold onto her fame much longer than any other television star of the 40s.
That is really what it all comes down to. She stays at the front of trends by listening to her audience. They want to see a nonagenarian with a bit of gumption and bite . . . then that is what they are given. Due to this ability to move with the times, despite her age, she is still very much relatable to people who have nowhere near her 92 years of life experience.
And that is why, at 92, she is still in demand as an ambassador for youth-targeted brands such as Snickers! Check out her interview below.