MediaLab’s ‘Regenesis’ Theory
More over 40s are either single or divorced than ever before and therefore, either
out of need, want or both, they are behaving like 20 somethings to enjoy a
varied social life with a view to finding a new relationship and perhaps a new
MediaLab used ONS data on divorce statistics to show the following:
- 40 years ago 1.5% of all over 40’s were divorced
- 20 years later (in 1991) this figure had climbed to 7.3%
- The latest published stats show that the figure has risen to 13% - almost double the level of 1991!
- Furtherto this, MediaLab discovered that when combined, 25% of over 40’s are either divorced OR single!
- This data gives a mathematical and logical explanation for something that is talked about in phrases like ‘40 is the new 30’, but rarely demonstrated in numbers.
The reason that over 40s are behaving more like 20 and 30 something’s is partly because more of them now find themselves in the same situation they were in in their 20s and 30’s. This time though, they are more experienced, confident – and better off!
An example of this new-found confidence and freedom is expressed in a rather
The ads below are not from the 70s but from a recent Family Planning Association campaign to promote condom usage in mature adults. Instances of Sexually Transmitted Infections in mature adults have risen sharply in recent years and this creative work is designed to help tackle the problem and raise awareness.
Many over 40s & especially over 50s will have benefitted from inheritance,
made money from selling houses, enjoyed a buoyant economy in relative terms and for many of those nearing retirement, a job for life with a secure, worthwhile pension fund.
All this means that compared to those in their 20s and 30s, the Highlifers are in better financial shape with lots of opportunity to spend money at the click of a button.
Despite this, they are still being sensible. Some are putting off major spends but they are making their money work harder. Price & value for money emerges as a top priority when it comes to making a purchasing decision and this is no different to any other age group in these times.
21% say they are using a cheaper supermarket and 40% have started to buy supermarket's own or value brands to save money. They are making everyday savings that then justify bigger lifestyle purchases.
Over half, (52%) are considering holidays with almost half looking at new furniture for example. The recession has made them careful but still prepared to spend on what they feel is important or what they really value.
This is an age group who are financially comfortable and this is demonstrated clearly when we look at car buying, the second largest spend after buying your home.
MediaLab found that 36% will change their car within the next 12 months, against a national average of just 24%, and over 50s are significantly more likely to own 2 cars.
Remarkably, 63% will use money from their savings to buy their next car – showing that they have real money in the bank and while not all mature consumers are the same, the fact remains that statistically this is most financially stable age group in the UK.
Incredibly, 2 in 5 see themselves as early adopters – the remainder don’t
shy away from it but are quick to take it up when it enters the mainstream. In
focus groups, technology usage is described as ‘intuitive’ and absolutely vital
to the way Highlifers live their lives today.
77% use social networking sites and Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the 3 most popular
sites amongst over 40s demonstrating healthy social lives and a willingness to
actively stay in touch and make new connections with old friends.
Smooth Radio recently launched smoothradiodating.co.uk which has been a huge success for the brand, further substantiating our findings on the changing lifestyles of mature consumers.