Planning for the New Generation — Centenarians

 Monty Wyne

It’s entirely possible. As longevity increases, marketers plan for a world of centenarians. CMO Atilla Cansun got a firsthand look when his father retired at 66. A man who used to lead an entire university department felt no sense of purpose or accomplishment. So, at 72, his father re-entered the marketplace and is now chairing the architecture department at a university in Instanbul.

His father inspired Mr. Casun to launch We100 to encourage and foster a world where living to 100 will be commonplace. The initiative will prepare individuals physically, mentally, and financially for “100 kick-ass years.” We100 is a “neutral brand” whose purpose is to engender support from healthcare companies, nonprofits, and eventually the hope is that well-known and respected septuagenarians and octogenarians, like Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth or  Hal Holbrook will trumpet the initiative.

Merck is already on board. Their Consumer Health Group has started We100 with backing from WPP’s Ogilvy& Mather. Merck is currently championing a number of initiatives as part of We100 like Healthy Hour, a health curriculum for students in kindergarten to college on how they can improve the quality of life from birth to 100 years of age. There’s also Restart 50+, an online job platform that provides job opportunities for individuals in their 50s. 

Casun is hoping to enlist participation from even bigger players in the global health and pharmaceutical market. He believes marketing can do plenty to change perspectives and beliefs, such as hiring individuals who represent the age group a brand is trying to reach. The idea being they have a deeper understanding of the specific wants, needs and desires of that generation because they are a part of the cohort.

As longevity continues to increase and that market continues to grow, products, brands, the age of our workforce, marketing, media, and lifestyles will continue to change. This is an exciting time and an opportunity for those who do reach the age of 100 to share their knowledge, experiences, and the tremendous changes they’ve witnessed in a world that’s constantly moving forward.