Economics and Business Review

Volume 2 (16) Number 4 pp. 77-91

Sylwia Badowska1, Anna Rogala2

University of Gdańsk, Faculty of Management, Sopot, Poland.

Identifying the portrayal of 50+ consumers in Polish print advertising


This article raises an issue of consumers at the age of 50+. The role of this
market segment is constantly growing in Poland, but despite of this, it is still hard to
identify this wide consumer group. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to identify the
portrayal of older people (50+) in Polish print advertising. Amongst over-fifty consumers,
the press media are still the key communication channel for spreading marketing
recommendations to this consumer group. Content analysis was employed to define
the characteristics of these consumers. The research demonstrates that firstly, the older
generation is depicted mostly marginally, secondly, women are over-represented, and
thirdly, only a few product categories portray the older models at all. Two schemes
‚brand ambassador‘ or/and ‚representative of a consumer target group‘ were used to
reflect the portrayals of this market group. In spite of the common opinion, that the
market segment of people of 50+ is uniform, the findings suggest that older consumers
are not homogeneous. A new age segmentation for the elderly has been proposed. The
older market segment is sharply divided into two groups (‚mature‘ and ‚elderly‘). The
age of 60 is a strong demarcation line here. The portrayal of ‚mature‘ consumers at the
age of 50–59 covers 50% of all the engaged older consumers in print adverts. Over 10
different portrayal models have been found in the market communications analyzed.
The contemporary ‚mature‘ ones differ substantially from stereotypical models reserved
for elderly consumers. Over 7 different models, mostly still ‚young bodies and souls‘,
are adapted to express the portrayal of this target group. However, for both the elderly
‚young‘ and ‚mature‘ (60+) sub-group the models are much more predictable and traditional.
The segment of 80+ does not exist at all in print adverts. Generally, the portrayal
of 50+ is more complicated and diverse than it is commonly believed in practice.

pub/2016_4_77.pdf Full text available in in Adobe Acrobat format:
Keywords: consumer 50+, elderly, older consumer, consumer portrayal, print advertising.

DOI: 10.18559/ebr.2016.4.5

For citation:

MLA Badowska, Sylwia, and Anna Rogala. "Identifying the portrayal of 50+ consumers in Polish print advertising." Economics and Business Review EBR 16.4 (2016): 77-91. DOI: 10.18559/ebr.2016.4.5
APA Badowska, S., & Rogala, A. (2016). Identifying the portrayal of 50+ consumers in Polish print advertising. Economics and Business Review EBR 16(4), 77-91 DOI: 10.18559/ebr.2016.4.5
ISO 690 BADOWSKA, Sylwia, ROGALA, Anna. Identifying the portrayal of 50+ consumers in Polish print advertising. Economics and Business Review EBR, 2016, 16.4: 77-91. DOI: 10.18559/ebr.2016.4.5