Generalizing About Generations Is Generally A Bad Idea

I once worked on a chain of auto repair shops. When our client came in for a strategy session, he seemed confused about the idea of targeting his message. “Well, I think we can narrow down our audience to men and women 18-49,” he confidently stated.

Our strategist shot back, “Who own cars, right?” Needless to say, we weren’t going to reach any strategic breakthroughs.

So why do age groups — and generations — matter so much to marketers and the media?

I’m a member of what’s known as Generation X. Some of us are billionaires (not me, unfortunately.) Some are barely scraping by (not me, thankfully.) Some are liberal, some are conservative, some are parents of multiple kids, and some are contently single. No one can paint us with the same broad brush. I look around at many people my age and see that I have sometimes very little in common with them.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo, which will be on the home page tomorrow.

And if you still need to fill the Kindle or iPad, you can buy my book of columns for just 99 cents.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.