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JWT: Generation BOLD – Executive summary

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Once dominated by a largely young consumer base, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is at a demographic tipping point. This executive summary version of Generation BOLD, an Innovation Group MENA report, looks at over-50s in the region, who are reinventing cultural preconceptions about aging and retirement.

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JWT: Generation BOLD – Executive summary

  1. 1. A REPORT BY JW T INTELLIGENCE M ENA GENERATION BOLD A REPORT BY IN NOVATION GROUP M ENA E XECUTIVE SUMMARY
  2. 2. GENERATION BOLD 2TRENDS INTRODUCTION
  3. 3. 3GENERATION BOLDINTRODUCTION Daring and undaunted by the massive social changes that have taken place in their lifetimes, today’s 50+ consumers are wealthier, healthier and can look forward to more productive years than any similar age group in history. Once dominated by a largely young consumer base, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is at a demographic tipping point. Over-50s in the region are a growing force to be reckoned with, and are reinventing cultural preconceptions about aging and retirement. While the wave of retiring boomers in the West has been explored in detail, the dynamics of this shift in the MENA region have not yet received adequate attention. This is a group that refuses to be sidelined by younger generations. That’s why we’ve called this study of contemporary MENA consumers in their 50s and 60s: Generation BOLD. Currently representing 12% of the population in MENA Arab countries, this cohort is expected to grow by 42% from 2015 to 2025, yielding a projected population size of approximately 53 million.1 Taken together, Generation BOLD and its successor, Generation X, represent one-third of the region’s population—a huge untapped market. GENERATION BOLD Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab at the end of his SS14 collection show, Paris Fashion Week
  4. 4. GENERATION BOLD 4TRENDS But it’s not just about their numbers. They are engaged, they are numerous–and they are ready to spend. Globally, the over-50s will have spending power worth $15 trillion by 2020, according to Euromonitor.2 Our work on Generation BOLD grows out of a global rebranding of aging that J. Walter Thompson Intelligence calls “Retooling for an Aging World.” In the 2014 report “The Elastic Generation,” our colleagues in London investigated the new 50+ consumer in the United Kingdom. While many of their findings translate globally, Generation BOLD remains a different group with its own unique needs and identity. Vastly improved life expectancy and health have created a generation that is fitter and more energetic than their predecessors. While the average person in the MENA region could expect to live to 65 in 1990- 1995, average lifespan is expected to increase from 71 today to 73 in 2020-2025, and to 75 a decade later.3 Shedding preconceived notions of what it means to be older, Generation BOLD is intent on maintaining youthfulness, keen to add life to years, not years to life. Rejecting traditional linear paths through aging, they are skipping and revisiting life stages at will; dating, studying, travelling the world, launching new businesses and much more. “What we’re dealing with here is a group of optimists who still want so much out of life both for themselves and for others. That means getting up off the couch and finding fulfilling experiences or new ways to make that happen.” Roy Haddad, Director WPP, MEA
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION Born between 1946 and 1965 and currently aged 50 to 69, Generation BOLD was shaped by the rise of Pan-Arabism, an ideology founded on the concept of a unified Arab nation bound together by common linguistic, cultural, and historical heritage. These 50-somethings grew up during an era when governments emerged as key socio- economic agents,4 when optimism and prosperity reigned, and when consumerism and self-indulgence thrived. It was a time when family structures were sacred and patriarchal contracts were set in place. It was also the era when women dressed more liberally and when timeless pop icons appeared on TV screens for the first time.5 Like their counterparts in the West, they are the first generation that has had to parent upwards and downwards simultaneously. With average life expectancy up by 50% from 1960,6 looking after aging parents is a huge new burden. Gen BOLDers must often shoulder the expenses for this, which may include vast sums spent on health care, living expenses and professional caregivers. Obligations toward children are also changing, as Gen BOLD’s offspring no longer inevitably leave the nest. Today’s 30-somethings, burdened by the rising cost of housing and consumer goods, are returning home, often with families of their own in tow. They may even need extra financial assistance from their parents, which can send Gen BOLDers back into the job market. While Gen BOLDers may experience age discrimination in conventional workplaces, rather than giving up, many are using their decades of experience to go into business for themselves. Gen BOLD is also rewriting the romantic playbook. Marriages are dissolving in midlife—not solely because husbands are leaving their wives for women half their age. Women are fueling a rising tide of divorce, asserting their rights and refusing to let traditional expectations of marriage consign them to a lifetime of unhappiness. Online dating is booming among the 50+ set and is no longer seen as just for the young. J. Walter Thompson MEA would like you to meet these contemporary consumers who are smashing outmoded notions of how life should be post-50 and post-60. We hope to persuade you that we need to change the conversation around middle age and help realize the latent potential of the 50+ consumer, whose life trajectory is now sinuous rather than linear, filled with energy and limitless beyond imagination. These consumers are ageless and, yes, bold. Meet Generation BOLD. 5GENERATION BOLD
  6. 6. 6GENERATION BOLDMETHODOLOGY Generation BOLD are Middle East and North African adults aged 50-69. We focused on this group because of their growing strength in numbers and their affluence, as well as their characteristics as a group: they are confident, spirited and fearless. These qualities also inspired our choice of name. The concept of “bold” reflects the courage, tenacity and vivacity of this generation. For this report, we conducted extensive desk research, in addition to a quantitative survey across six key regional markets; Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Kuwait using SONAR™, J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary online tool. In December 2014, we surveyed 244 adults aged 50-69 (BOLDers) and 248 adults aged 35-49 (Generation X). We ran eight in-depth discussions with five subjects in their 50s and three in their 60s. All data was correct at the time of writing in October 2015. METHODOLOGY Actor Mustafa Fahmy in Vodafone's commercial, Egypt
  7. 7. 7GENERATION BOLDBY NUMBERS GENERATION BOLD BY NUMBERS They’re a sizeable segment… They currently make up 12% of the MENA Arab countries’ population* …and they’re expected to get bigger Their numbers are projected to grow at a rate of 42% from 2015 to 2025* They feel as young as ever… 63% enjoy life more than when they were younger and didn’t feel different when they hit 50 or 60† …but they worry about their wellness 57% and 51% believe that losing physical and mental agility is a primary concern about life in old age‡ They are patriotic… 49% believe that their country has a leadership position in the region§ … but are concerned about their countries’ futures 68% worry about corruption and high unemployment, and 55% are concerned about the poor quality of education§ They’re financially secure… 56% are financially satisfied with where they are today|| …but they’re not ready for retirement Only 26% are financially prepared to ensure a comfortable retirement# They are online… 70% use social media to look at what family and friends are doing and 63% of Gen BOLD access the Internet daily§ … but they prefer direct interactions 42% still own and use a basic mobile phone (without Internet connectivity feature)§ They are fans of the web… 33% use their smartphone to compare products features and prices online¶ … but they rarely shop online 52% prefer to deal with an actual person rather than using e-commerce§ They are hunting for adventures… 41% want to spend their retirement traveling and exploring the world† … but can’t find experiences that cater to their needs 81% would like more experiences to help them live a fulfilling lifestyle† Sources: * US Census Bureau. 2015. † J. Walter Thompson SONAR™. 2014. ‡ Nielsen. 2014. “The Age Gap.” § Strategy&/PwC. 2013. “Generations A: differences and similarities across the Arab generations.” || Towers Watson. 2013. “Savings and Retirement Attitudes Survey MENA.” # Nielsen. 2011. “The Global Impact of an Aging World.” ¶ J. Walter Thompson MEA Disco Lab. 2015.
  8. 8. GENERATION BOLD 8TRENDS TYPOLOGIES
  9. 9. 9GENERATION BOLDTYPOLOGIES Generation BOLD, complex and diverse, refuses to be consigned to a box marked “gray hair and slippers.” An analysis of our MENA SONAR™ survey reveals four clusters of traits that allow us to segment Generation BOLD into four distinct groups: Traditionalists, Adventurers, Self-Actualizers and Activists. GENERATION BOLD TYPOLOGIES Top image: Dolce & Gabanna family ad Bottom image: Portrait of Maxime Chaya
  10. 10. GENERATION BOLD 10TYPOLOGIES 37% – The Traditionalist Although fewer Gen BOLDers are choosing traditional retirement, over a third still prefer to spend their newly abundant leisure time just sitting back and relaxing. Traditionalists, who have dedicated their entire lives to their jobs, have no interest in starting second careers or reinventing themselves, let alone changing the world. Nurturing caregivers at heart, they devote themselves to spending time with or looking after their grandchildren. 36% – The Adventurer The Adventurer values the unknown and the unexplored. Today, Gen BOLDers have a greater awareness of what’s out there, and time on their hands to make up for a lifetime of missed adventure. As their bucket lists grow longer, the globe-trotting Adventurers dream of exploring the world, one destination at a time. A newfound appreciation for experiences over possessions has made travel and adventure their new status symbols. 17% – The Self-Actualizer Motivated by financial need or personal pride, Gen BOLD Self- Actualizers have no interest in slowing things down. Retirement presents a fresh chance to leverage their years of experience by trying out something new. For those who derive their identities from work, exploring a new career or starting their own business is the way to go. Those who crave continuous learning find that going back to school keeps them mentally astute and gives them a sense of purpose. 11% – The Activist Activists are the movers and shakers of this generation and the agents of change in their communities; the socially committed trailblazers of our times. They are the caring contributors who start foundations, support charities or fight for a worthy cause. On a mission to make a difference, these legacy-seekers are motivated not by money or status, but by the desire to leave their mark on the world.
  11. 11. 11GENERATION BOLDTYPOLOGIES Gen BOLD Post-Retirement Activities (percent who plan to do the following)
  12. 12. 12GENERATION BOLDTYPOLOGIES
  13. 13. 13GENERATION BOLDTYPOLOGIES
  14. 14. GENERATION BOLD 14TRENDS SAMPLE SECTOR
  15. 15. GENERATION BOLD 15TRAVEL AND LEISURE As they reach retirement age, Gen BOLDers have lost none of their zest for life—they are seeking out new experiences, collecting new interests and traveling to their dream destinations. Fancy sports car? Oversized mansion? Forget those—Gen BOLDers are far less interested in high-end possessions than in experiential luxuries. Brands should help them maximize their enjoyment by promising fun and adventure, offering leisure opportunities, or simply helping them discover and grow hidden passions. Travel is a key focus, particularly for adventurous Gen BOLDers. During our research, we met scuba divers, budding entrepreneurs, adventure travelers, voracious activists, and more. While some Gen BOLDers are happy to sit back and relax, others plan to carry on working or start studying something new. This is the generation that never stops developing. TRAVEL AND LEISURE There are countless opportunities for brands in the leisure space to tap into Gen BOLD’s appetite for experience, discovery and learning. Forget armchair afternoons spent watching reruns—Gen BOLD has better things to do. Etihad A380 lobby lounge social area. Image courtesy Etihad Airways
  16. 16. 16GENERATION BOLDTRAVEL AND LEISURE MedMiles TVC campaign by Bankmed Devouring Life Gen BOLD has been struck with a bolt of wanderlust. According to our research, 41% of this cohort are planning to spend their retirement exploring the world and traveling. This generation wants to see more of the world, something one might normally associate with younger generations. But gap years weren’t mainstream when they were young, and travel wasn’t available for everyone, so many are making up for a lifetime of missed adventure. As this cohort’s bucket lists get longer, brands should whet Gen BOLD’s appetite for discovery, allowing them to broaden their minds and explore new places, cultures and experiences. However, avoiding age segregation is paramount: offer “Gen BOLD-friendly” as opposed to “Gen BOLD-only” adventures—the latter will only offend and alienate them. And with multigenerational travel on the rise, don’t forget to accommodate travelers of all ages. Travel as the new status symbol
  17. 17. GENERATION BOLD 17TRAVEL AND LEISURE Example: Bankmed’s MedMiles campaign features a married Gen BOLD couple lying to their son about their whereabouts as they attempt to plan a trip using the miles they’ve accumulated. This humorous series of ads not only reflects this generation’s passion for traveling, but also showcases a service that older cardholders can benefit from: a loyalty program that allows them to redeem their accumulated miles against trips of their choice. Example: Middle East Airlines launched an ad in May 2015 celebrating its 70th anniversary with the tagline “old never, young forever.” The footage uses the iconic image of the Lebanese cedar tree, which is the airline’s logo, as a metaphor for valuing something that has lasted over time, emphasizing that the brand is timeless. Resilience over time is a powerful symbol for Gen BOLDers, who have witnessed tremendous change, often including war and violence, over the past five or six decades. “Old never, young forever” campaign by Middle East Airlines MEA70th_CEDARWINGS_A4_ENG.pdf 1 2/13/15 5:22 PM
  18. 18. GENERATION BOLD 18TRAVEL AND LEISURE Qatar Airlines Airbus A380 first class Taking it Easy Generation BOLDers no longer expect to rough it: key elements that contribute to a good trip or leisure experience center around comfort. The desire to travel with style and refinement is a requirement that becomes increasingly pronounced with age, and Gen BOLD will demand a high level of service: someone to carry bags, a car to the airport, prepared meals. Gen BOLDers feel they have earned the right to higher expectations and to spend money on themselves. Brands should ensure easy, stress-free experiences followed by upscale relaxation and pampering.
  19. 19. GENERATION BOLD 19TRAVEL AND LEISURE Example: Qatar Airways’ latest Airbus A380 features eight first- class suites with ultra-wide seats that double as beds, delivering the upscale comfort that Gen BOLD craves. Not only does the carrier emphasize its relaxing travel experience, it also offers travelers on- board extras such as slippers and pajamas, as well as goodie bags with products from brands such as Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior that appeal to older travelers. Qatar Airways’ other carriers (which are less extravagant, but equally comfortable) provide the same class-A treatment that this cohort appreciates: basics such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors and combs, in addition to lip balm, hand cream, serums, eau de toilette and perfume by Salvatore Ferragamo and Dior. Example: Abu Dhabi’s national airline Etihad understands that its older customers want to enjoy a sensation of exclusivity and distinction when they pay to travel first class, an experience which the airline has rebranded as The Residence. The Residence service includes private bathrooms with showers and a full fine dining and turndown service, as Etihad’s customers expect similar service levels to in those of a five- star hotel when they fly. In a campaign launched in March 2015, Etihad depicts a groomed, refined older couple dining on board; the ad notes the high-end brands and designers of the dinnerware (Bernardaud), the glassware (Vera Wang), and the bed linen (Pratesi). Experience The Residence by Etihad Airways, May 2015
  20. 20. TRAVEL AND LEISURE Trip4Real Authentic Flair Gen BOLD travelers are just as keen as any other age group to enjoy a truly authentic experience at their destination of choice, sampling local dishes and making local friends. Peer-to-peer start-ups, which thus far have tended to focus on millennials, are missing the mark with older consumers. Rewards will be reaped by those that re-appropriate this model for a grown-up crowd, engineering more upscale experiences that appeal to this age group. Example: Following in the footsteps of Airbnb and OneFineStay, the latest peer-to-peer travel offering making waves is Trip4Real, which offers over 3,000 activities in 50 cities all around Spain. There are many peer-to-peer travel companies that deliver upscale experiences that appeal to Gen BOLD, but withTrip4Real, the key is in the sheer diversity of its offerings—from the more predictable Rioja wine- tastings to a nightlife crawl of Barcelona’s best underground music venues led by a local DJ, or a weekend’s sailing trip around the Costa Brava with a captain—and the ease and transparency with which such experiences can be booked. 20GENERATION BOLD
  21. 21. GENERATION BOLD 21 Digital Trend Habits Here’s something to challenge perceptions: data from J. Walter Thompson MEA’s Disco Lab research tool shows that Gen BOLD is increasingly using mobile phones to research and plan trips and find travel deals and promotions. Digital is fully integrated into their planning process, but they don’t yet make all their bookings online, so they retain relationships with local travel agents who know them and whom they trust. The human touch is an important factor that empowers decision- making for many members of Gen BOLD in all areas of their lives— travel included. Brands will need to help guide Gen BOLD in making digital travel bookings, while online brands will need to incorporate a human element to increase trust within this group. Example: Yamsafer, a Ramallah-based travel startup, is a hotel- booking website and app that serves travelers visiting the Middle East and Turkey. Although the service prides itself on promoting the transition from offline to online bookings in the region, it also takes into account consumers’ reluctance to make digital transactions. By establishing “cardless bookings,” the startup allows users to make online reservations and pay upon arrival, providing an alternative method for Gen BOLDers who are not comfortable with making online credit card payments. Yamsafer app TRAVEL AND LEISURE
  22. 22. About the Innovation Group MENA The Innovation Group is J. Walter Thompson’s futurism, research and innovation unit. It charts emerging and future trends, consumer change, and innovation patterns—translating these into insight for brands. It offers a suite of consultancy services, including bespoke research, presentations, co-branded reports and workshops. It is also active in innovation, partnering with brands to activate future trends within their framework and execute new products and concepts. Its MENA Director is Mennah Ibrahim. Lucie Greene is Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group. About J. Walter Thompson Intelligence The Innovation Group is part of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, a platform for global research, innovation and data analytics at J. Walter Thompson Company, housing three key in-house practices: SONAR™, Analytics, and the Innovation Group. SONAR™ is J. Walter Thompson’s research unit that develops and exploits new quantitative and qualitative research techniques to understand cultures, brands, and consumer motivation around the world. It is led by Mark Truss, Worldwide Director of Brand Intelligence. Analytics focuses on the innovative application of data and technology to inform and inspire new marketing solutions. It offers a suite of bespoke analytics tools and is led by Amy Avery, Head of Analytics, North America. Mennah Ibrahim is MENA Director of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence. The Innovation Group MENA Mennah Ibrahim MENA Director of the Innovation Group mennah.ibrahim@jwt.com Trends Strategist: Dana ElHassan J. Walter Thompson SONAR™ Brittany Lewis For more details about this report, please contact: Mennah Ibrahim, MENA Director of the Innovation Group mennah.ibrahim@jwt.com Philippa Clayre, Head of Comms. philippa.clayre@jwt.com Cover imagery credits Top image: Yousra. Photography by Lacombe Brigitte Bottom image: Maxime Chaya

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