Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about age diversity and changing attitudes toward aging. The Today Show did a piece several years ago about a finding from a Harris Interactive Poll that asked:
If you could live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you like to be?
The poll was conducted among 2,252 American adults, which included men and women of all ages, some with and without kids and from all geographic regions. The findings showed, on average, that the magic number is 50. Interestingly, a similar study conducted 10 years prior stated that 41 was the perfect age.
Further, The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery conducted a survey of 500 women between the ages of 45-60 to find out what they think of their changing face at 50. The general consensus is that 50 is in fact, the new 30.
On average, 69% of these women reported feeling at least six years younger than their chronological age. Now more and more men and women are not happy with just looking 10 years younger, mostly because they feel closer to 20 years younger. Just as the saying goes that kids are getting older, at younger ages, it would seem that many adults are actually getting younger, at older ages.
And the same can be said for business. At Vladimir Jones, we just celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the agency on April 1. So I thought it only seemed fit to draw a parallel between how most people and agencies just get better with age.
You have both wisdom and maturity. If you’re lucky enough to have good health and the means to take care of yourself, you also have all the wisdom and maturity that goes with age. The agency owners today are old enough to have wisdom but young enough that their parents are still alive, so they have generational intelligence.
You can exercise your muscles. You can stay stylish and fit due to recent medical and cosmetic developments that are helping to give 50 a facelift. At this age, you have every opportunity. You’re young enough to make your agency famous or start an organic farm, and still have the muscle tone to work an eight-hour day. And you have talents and perspective to make your team stronger.
You’re not afraid to ask for help. If you’re tired you can ask the young man on the bus to get out of his seat for you, or you can date the young man. Competition among agencies becomes co-opetition. Enemies become frenemies. And age diversity means teams of multigenerational coworkers can embrace and leverage one another’s differences.
You’re less depressed and anxious, and more optimistic. As we age we tend to get less depressed, less anxious and more optimistic than our juniors. Optimism was in 1970 at its founding, and still remains, one of Vladimir Jones’ core values.
You’re comfortable in your own skin. In our 50s, we are also more comfortable with ourselves and our bodies. We don’t have to worry about child bearing but if we did it’s still medically possible. Women in their fifties still feel vibrant, beautiful and desirable. As an agency, we can act at 50 the way we used to at 30. Advertising is still fundamentally a business of persuasion; it’s the tools and techniques that have advanced with time.
You’re an asset to your team and clients. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that with all of our cultural focus on achieving diversity, equity and inclusion in business, that there are very few agencies who even consider age diversity an important part of the mix. That was one of the main factors that brought me to Vladimir Jones. Since its inception 53 years ago, the leadership of this agency has maintained an agency that celebrates and welcomes both typical and atypical talent. From a targeting perspective, Americans 50+ have significant disposable income and represent a lucrative opportunity for marketers.
To this day, Vladimir Jones continues to welcome the most highly qualified, most interesting thinkers, and the most diverse points of view, regardless of gender, race, background, age or industry-specific experience. This leadership team strongly believes there’s a path for everyone in advertising, regardless of who you are or where you’ve been, when others believe in you.
Here’s to many more happy returns for Vladimir Jones and for all individuals celebrating another year in this business! Maybe next year you’ll celebrate with us. Check out our open positions.