As usual, I am on the bleeding edge of a trend. I have fun submitting stuff I run across to Trendhunter.com, which has put me in the top 25 trend reporters in the whole friggin’ world!
Imagine my pleasure when a report from Away With Words, says Audeo…
is targeting baby boomers with a slick direct-mail campaign featuring this stubble-jawed, multiply tattooed fellow and three other equally unconventional spokespersons, including a man in a business suit, a black eye, and a swollen lip. The message: “You’ve always experienced everything life has to offer. Why stop now?”…invites us to “test drive” a “sleek, stylish, and discreet” product.
Turns out, I already have this product. As a matter of fact, I have two.
They are advertising hearing aids. I sure can identify with their models. NOT.
Because nothing turns off a boomer like intimations of geezerhood, Audéo carefully avoids taboo words like hearing loss or, heaven forfend, deaf. Instead, it invites us to “test drive” a “sleek, stylish, and discreet” product. We’re not getting old; rather, “a full and active life” may have interfered with our perception of “subtle but crucial high pitched sounds.” Wear your Audéo proudly: it’s “a sign of life lived with intensity.”
Here’s a news flash for you Audeo. Boomers aren’t turned off by hearing loss. They just don’t like to admit it. Does anybody, any age like to admit their senses aren’t in the normal range. I didn’t like it when I found out a hundred years ago that I am (like 5% of all males) a little color blind. Decades ago when I started wearing glasses, I was bummed. I didn’t like it when the drugs I’m on effected my taste (bring on the tabasco!)
Well, OK, maybe that can be interpreted as being turned off. But wearing hearing aids is a vanity thing. I didn’t want to wear them because they are so obvious (I thought.)
In other words: you sat in the front row at a few too many Springsteen concerts, and now you’re paying the price, baby.
Yeah, right. It’s more like, you were under a car with no mufflers, you rode a motorcycle with no mufflers, you rode a go cart with no muffler and the exhaust pointed right at your right ear. You hung around race cars with no mufflers.
Away with Words apparently has an issue with the price of $6000 for the hearing aids. That’s what I paid without a second thought once I saw them and how relatively inobtrusive they are. They are digital, meaning they will adjust to ambient noise automatically. They are not “ear pluggers” which allow no sound in unless it’s amplified. They are small. They don’t squeal.
Why shouldn’t I pay $6000 for hearing aids?
Will it work? I’d be the last to underestimate the vanity and profligacy of my generation. And with several hundred boomers turning 60 every minute, and 10 percent of the world’s population having hearing problems, there may well be a large enough customer base for Phonak to succeed with a luxury sonic prosthetic.
BTW: profligacy means spending extravagently, I had to look it up. For a guy, this isn’t extravagent. I haven’t dyed my hair all my life, I haven’t had manicures or pedicures all my life. No dermabrasion, no boob job, no nose job, etc.
I’ll give you vanity, but not extravagence.
The Audeo hearing aids come in a variety of colors with goofy names, but basically green, red, and whatever. If they were smart, they would have come in colors to match hair colors to help disguise them, not make them stand out. Although, if you wear your hear slightly over your ears it will probably cover most of my hearing aids. Presently, I don’t, and in this picture, I am wearing my hearing aids.
So, Away with Words, your basis message message that this marketing approach is wrong is right. But some of your observations are off the mark.
Next I need to upgrade my glasses. No, not that vain. I can stick with Lenscrappers.