Japan is the testing ground when it comes to how society will change and adapt to shifting demographics, which is why this story about the growth of a social network for silver surfers in Japan repays close reading.
My key takeaways:
- The Japan Research Institute has estimated that “senior households” delivered 40% of total domestic consumption in the country last year.
- As soon as marketing executives hear the words ‘senior citizen’ they stop thinking
- In the future…the ‘culture of adults’ will become increasingly important
- Seniorcom was first promoted via a free branded magazine, which was closed down when the social network reached critical mass
This reinforces some of the conclusions we have reached when working with clients in the aged-care sector. We need to reframe the terms of the public debate: seniors are most certainly not an unremitting burden on the economy. We need to combat ignorance and uninterest on the part of external audiences. We need to be ready for a shift in how our cultural landscape is created – away from the privileging of youth towards a valuing of experience. We need to recognise that, for the foreseeable future, old media (no pun intended) remains a key pathway to new media uptake.