More than seniors, young ones fear death–study

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 04:55 AM October 14, 2019

Despite their youth, Filipino twentysomethings fear death more than people in their 70s dread the end of life.

On the other hand, more seniors all over the world believe that dating knows no age, even if they are in their twilight years.


Such attitudes challenging age stereotypes are among the key findings of “Truth About Age,” a study conducted by McCann Truth Central, the intelligence unit of international marketing services company McCann WorldGroup.

Age is just a number


Around 24,000 people aged 20 to 70 in 28 quantitative markets — Canada, United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, South Africa, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, China, Japan, Philippines and Australia — were surveyed for the study during the latter part of 2017.

Qualitative data from 36 markets — Canada, United States, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Latvia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, South Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines and Australia — complemented the study’s quantitative results.

It sounds cliché, but “age is just a number” is truly the mindset of today’s consumers, as the study found that “people across the age spectrum are not adhering to the expectations traditionally associated with their life stage.”

While one would expect mortality to weigh heavily on the minds of senior citizens, the study found those in their 20s are more concerned about the subject.

In the Philippines, particularly, 63 percent of the twentysomething respondents—higher than the global average of 57 percent—say they fear death.

The fear, according to the study, comes from the perception of the young people that death would be the end of everything good in their lives, especially at that stage where they’re just getting started.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 65-and-above respondents seem to be “mirroring their younger counterparts by refusing to meet the expectations traditionally associated with their life stage,” the report says.


For example, two-thirds of the study’s respondents in their 70s believe that “you’re never too old to casually date”—a belief that’s shared by just over half of the respondents in their 20s.

One thing that all generations agree on, however, is that spending quality time with people you love is important to aging well; in fact, 99 percent of the Filipino respondents say so.

The findings mean, said Suzanne Powers, global chief strategy officer of McCann Worldgroup, that brands and businesses also need to rethink the way they do their marketing, especially when related to consumers’ age.

Four principles

Given these findings, McCann released a new Age Marketing Playbook based on the following principles:

Start young: Start talking about aging not just with the 50 and above consumers, but even with those in their 20s.

Celebrate the gains: In the second half of life, much of the aging narrative is oriented around loss. Brands have the opportunity to rewrite the narrative by developing new language and imagery to connect not just with the aging population but with people of all age groups.

Go beyond the number: Age is becoming a less useful predictor of behaviors and attitudes so the traditional approach to targeting and segmentation must be reimagined. Brands need to interrogate their own consumer segmentations in new ways to ensure that they are consistently going beyond the “number.”

Promote intergenerational connections: Overall, there is one consistent theme that transcends markets when it comes to aging well—spending time with people of different ages. The study found that the old consistently misunderstand the young, and the young, the old. There is a rich opportunity for brands to drive a dialogue between the generations and cocreate an age-positive future.

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TAGS: fear of death, McCann Truth Central, Truth About Age
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