While the Philadelphia Eagles surprised many fans by defeating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl LII (52), another surprise came during the commercial breaks as 50+ celebrities stole the spotlight.
Cindy Crawford, the 51-year-old supermodel, actress and entrepreneur, looked terrific as she recreated her iconic Pepsi ad. Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves, 53, starred in a spot for website builder Squarespace that had people talking and comedian Chris Elliott, 57, was featured in an ad promoting avocados. Danny DeVito, 73, for M&M’s and Morgan Freeman, 80, in a Doritos and Mountain Dew spot, also caught our attention.
These over-50 celebrities appealed not only to their own demo, but to consumers of all ages. At the same time, they upended assumptions about 50+ consumers. Here’s how:
1. Cindy Crawford redefines beauty. Crawford and her son, Presley Gerber, appeared in a spot featuring a montage of Pepsi icons. Crawford is thrown a can of Pepsi from her son and looks as youthful as she did when the original spot aired 26 years ago.
Crawford’s spot is noteworthy because there was a time when women of a certain age weren’t celebrated for being sexy and beautiful. But now, countless other women like Nicole Kidman, Salma Hayek and Sandra Bullock are changing that equation. In the past few years we’ve seen a realization from the beauty industry that women over 50 want to look great.
For example, Lauren Hutton, 74, recently starred in a Calvin Klein campaign and Elon Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, is the face of CoverGirl. Meanwhile, beauty marketers are phasing out terms like “anti-aging” and “anti-wrinkle” as women embrace the art of aging gracefully.
2. Keanu Reeves highlights new career options. One of the more memorable Super Bowl ads this year featured Keanu Reeves standing on a motorcycle while the 1980s Will Powers’ hit “Adventures in Success” played in the background. It turns out that Reeves, 53, has started a new career as the owner of a motorcycle company, Arch Motorcycle, and is also a Squarespace user.
Reeves’ entrepreneurial spirit is not unique for the 50+ demographic. From starting new careers to working longer, the 50+ age group considers work satisfying and fulfilling. In fact, more than half of workers 50-64 are still working. The bottom line is that the steady income means this segment has a fair amount of disposable income for everything from travel to purchasing big ticket items.
3. Chris Elliott makes a healthy choice. The comedian promoted avocados from Mexico in this year’s game. This ad shows a hermetically sealed ideal world under a glass bubble. When the people discover there are avocados, but no chips, they go berserk. That is until their leader reminds them that avocados taste great on toast, in salads, on lots of things. Elliott, meanwhile, is shown trying to sell his autograph amidst all to commotion.
By casting the 57-year-old comedian, the spot illustrates how the brand is appealing to the 50+ demographic’s wide-ranging tastes and penchant for healthy fare. This approach works.
Finally, you’re not imagining things. You’re seeing many high-profile over-50 celebs in ads. Madison Avenue understands this demo’s mass appeal and realizes that consumers over 50 now account for the majority of all consumer spending. Learn from these advertisers and celebrate what makes these consumers unique and worthy of our attention.