By Florian Kohlbacher, Michael Prieler

Inhabitants getting older is a strong megatrend affecting many nations around the globe. This demographic shift has significant results on societies, economies and companies, and therefore additionally for the advertisements undefined. ads within the getting older Society offers an perception into ads practitioners and shoppers in Japan.

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Extra info for Advertising in the Aging Society: Understanding Representations, Practitioners, and Consumers in Japan

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Due to its importance, Dentsu even influences programming, not only indirectly by providing advertisements, but also (as with other big advertising companies) by creating new program ideas for television stations. This is typical for advertising agencies in Japan. For example, another advertising agency, Asatsu-DK, is a famous anime producer that provides TV channels with anime and advertisements (Moeran, 1996). Among its many activities, Dentsu also founded The Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation in 1965, a nonprofit organization, named after Yoshida Hideo, the fourth president of the company, which is promoting advertising research to make a contribution to Japan’s economical, industrial, and cultural advancement.

The baby boomers have always been highly active, energetic, consumption-oriented, and formed a wealthy subgroup, being curious about technological innovations and having a shopping-related mentality (McCreery, 2000). Along with retirement comes newly gained free time. This is the reason why the baby boomer generation, which has high 10 Advertising in the Aging Society purchasing power and propensity to consume, is a very attractive potential target group for companies in the market for older people (Kohlbacher, 2011; Sekizawa, 2008).

This route depends on how much consumers think about an ad’s message. If a consumer is unmotivated to process information, a soft-sell might be best (Cacioppo & Petty, 1985). This may, especially, be the case in Japan where people work long hours daily and only want to be entertained at night. Mooney (2000), as well as Johansson (1994), state that the home is sacred territory, and advertisers need to justify interrupting their programs. A hard-sell approach may be the wrong way to do that. As can be seen in the previous paragraphs, cultural explanations of the distinguishing characteristics of Japanese advertisements are too simplistic.

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