Shameless Promotion or a Fun Read?
“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad”- Howard Luck Gossage
Top things to do before you are 50
On that point, I didn’t mind a bit that SunLife as part of their ‘Welcome to life after 50’ campaign have commissioned a survey of over 2000 over 50s to find what 50 things you should do before you turn 50. In terms of campaign goals, if one was to appear as a news story across all the major news sites in the UK, in regional and national press, including The Sun, the Metro and The Guardian, they achieved this with knobs on. The campaign even made it onto BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, where Comedian Arthur Robinson was invited to share his top 5 with Winnifred Robinson, who incidentally wouldn’t be drawn on air on whether she’d been skinny-dipping or tried drugs.
For Big 50, we’ve interviewed 50,000 people over 50 so that we understand better than any other insurance company what people over 50 want and value
Accompanying the campaign turned news item was a video on life at 50 according to kids. It turns out that kids believe that when you get to 50 your skin starts to melt and you drink a lot of wine!
50 things to do before you are are 11 ¾
The National trust issued a list a couple of years ago – 50 things to do before you are are 11 ¾. I still remember the sense of achievement felt by my son (and me), after a night walk at Centre Parcs enabling him to tick off the last of the 50 things to do. Although I’m not entirely sure what the wild animals we were tracking were, or whether the glow worms weren’t the eyes of a couple of stray cats. Similarly, with SunLife’s list, I was provoked by a mild sense of curiosity and could not resist running through it to see how many of the things I could tick off, being the wrong side, (or is it the right side, I’m not sure) of 50. I rather regret never having been to Edinburgh Fringe or having owned my own business before I made 50, but I can tick the number 1 on the list, buying a home and I am old enough to have spent a month without technology. These 2 of the listed items will almost certainly elude my children. I do confess, however to not knowing even now which side of my car the petrol cap is on, despite having owned it for almost 10 years, but I consider myself no less a person for it.
Getting a tattoo was named something to do before you are 50
SunLife’s Ian Atkinson added: “For Big 50, we’ve interviewed 50,000 people over 50 so that we understand better than any other insurance company what people over 50 want and value, so that we can flog them our over 50s policies” (the italics are mine). But who would read on if SunLife had instead chosen to tell us we could find our perfect plan at SunLife for as little as £3.90 per month, I’m already falling into a coma.
Manmade Wonder The Leshan Giant Buddha – Sichuan Province, China
At BBC StoryWorks (BBC Advertising’s Content Division) we were proud to create award winning content in partnership with our clients. We entertained with HSBC’s The World is My Oyster, informed with Dassult Système’s Beyond Limits, inspired with Vacheron Constantin’s stunning images of Wonders of Mankind and moved our audiences with Huawei’s Against All Odds mini documentaries. To go back to the 1950s adman Mr Gossage, people consumed this content because it interested them – the fact is was commercially funded was incidental.
And if like me you can’t resist a look, whichever side of the big 5 zero you are on here they are:
TOP 50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 50
Buy a house
Fall in love
Eat fish and chips on the pier
Read 100 books
See your favourite musician/band live
Learn a language
Attend a music festival
Own a dog
Learn to say no to your mother
Stay out all night partying
See the Northern Lights
Be able to remember which side of your car the petrol cap is on
Travel somewhere alone
Sleep underneath the stars
Watch a meteor shower
Dance in the rain
Become an expert at something
Quit a job
See a volcano
Visit all seven continents
Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain
Take a helicopter ride
Have sex on a beach
Swim with dolphins
Go skinny dipping
Ride a gondola in Venice
Make a snow angel
Take part in a protest
Own your own business
Go in a hot air balloon
Ride an elephant
Jump into a pool fully clothed
Backpack across Europe
Perfect a signature dish
Drink beer at Oktoberfest
Run a marathon
Get a tattoo
Ride a Vespa
Watch comedy at Edinburgh Fringe
Write a novel
Write a journal
Spend a month technology free
Have a threesome
Go to an airport and pick a random flight
PLEASE NOTE: The BBC content referenced above is not accessible from the UK as it is part of the international service and not funded by the licence fee. It is produced commercially by BBC StoryWorks part of BBC Advertising, which is part of BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC and whose profits go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes.
Alison Farmery: Director, Lagoon Media, producing content and building products that help people become more informed, inspired, and engaged tomorrow than they are today.