Over-60s make up just 4% of people featured in global ads, according to a new study from CreativeX, a creative data platform.

The analysis looked into age representation in advertising, and assessed over 126,000 global ads released in 2022, revealing that only 4% of people cast in ads were over the age of 60.

The ads involved in the study featured a total of 25,000 people, including ads for a variety of brands in the food, beverage, healthcare, and alcohol sectors.

This raises some questions for advertisers and the marketing industry, with the most important question being: Is the industry overlooking older customers and underrepresenting an aging population?

The age-old issue

The marketing industry is forgetting about a huge portion of the global population. The small percentage of just 4% may come as a surprise to many, considering the fact that between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's over-60 population will nearly double from 12% to 22%, coming to 2.1 billion.

Although we know Gen Z audiences are all the rage in marketing, making up 20.67% of the US population, the industry is neglecting a potentially lucrative audience. With a higher disposable income than younger generations, those 50 and older make up 51% of consumer spending and include 45% of all adults, yet only 3% of digital media budgets are allocated to ads featuring this audience.

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