Mon cheri, le Zoomer. . .

According to Moses Znaimer, these are some of the characteristics of the Zoomer:

Zoomer – noun.

1. The boomer with zip.
2. The boomer with loads of money.
3. The boomer who seeks thrills and adventure.
4. The boomer who has “been there, done that” – now wants quality experiences.
5. The boomer who is smart and computer/tech savvy.
6. Estimated age range: 45+

According to Znaimer, the Zoomer is the new audience. Everyone knows how much they have, what they want, and to some degree how they’re going to get it!

But apparently they’re being ignored by marketers. And I would agree to some degree. Our society is obsessed with youth and pre-youth, and we’re completely forgetting who has the real cash.

That said, the Zoomer exists because they were able to acquire that wealth within a consistent and more or less seamless career. It was hard work in a different economic climate. Their career transitions made sense. Nowadays, the number of people in their 20’s and 30’s with multiple degrees and years of job experience, but still can’t settle on a career (or find a job in some cases) is disturbing and discouraging. Our transitions do not make sense. And our economic climate sucks.

But the Zoomer is still largest demographic with that type of endless (it seems) disposable cash! They were essential in defining an era, and now have become the ignored and forgotten.


Znaimer thinks the focus will shift towards the Zoomer, rather he’s calling for a movement. Hire a Zoomer, market to a Zoomer. And while the evidence may indicate that it’s quite possible, I doubt marketers are that fickle.

Obviously, I challenge the broader definition of the Zoomer. I take it with a few grains of salt. I think there are plenty in that age range who do not fit that description, for various reasons and circumstances. Also, the concept of “thrill-seeking” varies from person to person, does it not? I mean, what’s a thrill these days? Not only does it vary from generation to generation, but it changes from person to person. And if the Zoomer has already “been there and done that” – what EXACTLY is a thrill for them? What’s left? I think this statement applies to all ages, not just the Zoomers.


As always, I see the transition become more of equilibrium – a balance in the score. Maybe there’ll be a change in the quality of goods, services, experiences, art, culture, music, etc. I hope there IS a massive movement and like everything else is society, the pendulum WILL eventually shift to accommodate The Overlooked (notice the capitals).


5 thoughts on “Mon cheri, le Zoomer. . .

  1. Frank says:

    Znaimer may have been on the mark 2 or 3 years ago when the economies at both the local and global levels had plenty of steam, and financial institutions were more forgiving of, and perhaps even relying on, those who were racking up enormous debt loads. You don’t need to peer into a crystal ball to know that these debt loads will exact its pound of flesh from a great number of Canadians who leaned heavily on credit simply to maintain their upscale, and unsustainable, lifestyles. Statistics show a vast number of Canadians live well beyond their means for any number of reasons – Zoomers are no exception. In a serious economic crunch, like the one we are currently experiencing, I suspect that marketing specifically to this demographic might prove to be a flawed and terribly risky proposition.

  2. karinmk123 says:

    The baby boom generation (1946-1964) is the largest age demographic in North America, and the primary reason why advertisers started to create and target youth audiences. Because they are the largest demographic they will always be marketed and targeted. We are already bombarded with ads for health insurance, health & beauty products. Just think of all the ads for skin care – and the creation of Dove – real beauty ads. As the boomers are aging, aging is being projected in a different light. The oldest of the boomers are creeeping toward senior citizenship – watch and see – ads on funeral planning, wills and estate planning, retirement planning, cancer treatments, travel and leisure, and cosmetic surgery will take over the airwaves.

    I agree that the definition of zoomer does not fit everybody in the 45+ age bracket. What a lot of people keep forgetting is that the boomers born from 1960-1964 did not have the same advantages as the boomers born from 1946-1959. The late boomers are actually “Generation X” and the subject of Douglas Copeland’s novel of the same name, which dealt with their collective angst at not being able to achieve the same things as those who came before them. This group is so overlooked that the original Gen X moniker has been displaced and shifted to the group that was born after them from 1965-1979.

    What advertisers have to do is take a good look at the baby boom generation and not lump them into one group package like Znaimer states they should. All demographics based on age have to be overhauled to reflect a new reality – Do you honestly think that 40+ men and women are like 40+ men and women from the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. I turned 45 this year, and panicked when I realized that I would be shifting from the 25-44 demographic and lumped in with the 45-59 or 45-64 set and thought no way – when did this happen? In the last year and half, I finally got my degree and completed a graduate program – I am not your typical 45 year-old and I know a slew of people who do not fit the Znaimer definition of zoomer.

  3. staffeen thompson says:

    Frank – You’ve raised a good point, society does encourage “living beyond our means” – and these days in our economic climate, who would want to risk that type of vanity?

    CH – Perhaps; perhaps not…clearly you do not! But you are a part of the growth of his empire, are you not?

    Karin – You definitely do not fit the boomer/zoomer criteria! And I’m sure there are many who do not subscribe nor ascribe to his definitions, or any definitions for that matter. I find that once aware of these more generalizing “marketing-based,” labels I’m more apt to digress from their parameters.

    Thank you all for your posts!

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