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  • Writer's pictureRichard Irvine


By Iking Uy

I’ve been in the advertising industry for 15 years. Some might consider me an old timer whereas others might still think I’m just in the midst of my career. Throughout these years, I’ve seen a lot of changes and shifts but one thing that remains constant (and keeps me working in this field) is the excitement and thrill of knowing you are on to something special. When you put your head together with your team to possibly create game changing ideas you’d proudly tell the whole world about. That for me is the magic that our industry still has. Every brief brings in a new challenge and a new anticipation that reminds me why I choose to stay… because I believe we can make a difference.

But outside of work, my personal life has seen a lot of changes too. I’m now married with two beautiful kids and we have moved back to the Philippines after being away for almost 8 years. Why? Because I believe that the Philippines is still where I want to make an impact and at the same time, for my family.

Serendipitously, I spoke with a colleague about a new company she wants to set up in Asia and then the ball just started rolling. Enter, A3A APAC, the Agency for the Third Age, established in Singapore to work with marketers whose products and services cater to the Third Agers in Asia Pacific.

I didn't know much about Third Agers at that time, 55-75 years old consumers. But in retrospect, the idea of “Third Agers” seems to have been silently creeping up on me. I’ve seen my parents evolve from being my mother and father to my kid’s grandparents. And yet, they live slightly different lifestyles from the stereotypical “grandparent”. If you’d indulge me, take a look at your parents today…do they seem the same as your grandparents when you were growing up? I thought about it and life has changed so much that our expectations and image of third agers then are no longer true today. I mean, you still have Paul McCartney in his 80s and Johnny Mar in his 50s, still playing their hearts out in front of thousands. And they’re both not old, gray-haired in tennis shoes. They may seem like an exception but, imagine all the other Third Agers out there and the possibilities seem endless.

Third Agers will be a third of the global population in 2050 and that’s just how much impact they can still make. In APAC they are already 20% of the population and growing. If we do not take this opportunity in front of us then who will?

As part of A3A APAC, my job is to help connect brands and services to the Third Age consumers. They are going to be a force in the future. A force that is poised to spend $8.6 Trillion by 2030. Brands that are able to cater to their needs and help them live more meaningful lives can win in this segment. This is that whisper of a thrill that excites me. The impact we can make in the lives of Third Agers.

The task ain’t easy. It’s not simply about making campaigns from thin air, randomly showing a gray-haired aging man or woman in your social video. In a world full of stereotypes of all kinds, it’s not that easy to break away from them, especially age stereotypes.

But it’s also not impossible. Brands and marketers should look more closely since the world has changed so much and the people in it have changed too. I’ll be a Third Ager in two decades and believe me, I would want to break the stereotype by that time.

We know that finding the Third Age opportunity doesn’t happen overnight and probably not a priority of brands at this point. But we believe it's something worth looking at and exploring as early as now. We know we can help you unlock it. And when that moment comes, hopefully, you’ll also feel like you’re part of something special and life-changing, the same way I do.

King Uy is Managing Director of A3A APAC

Agency for the Third Age

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