Call Us Zoomers, Please!

This article appeared in the LIfestyles Section of the Peace Arch News on Friday November 26, 2010.

Call us Zoomers please!

Lucille Ball was there and so was Marilyn Monroe. They looked fabulous and I can honestly say they haven’t aged a bit. We three gals giggled as we reminisced at the recent Zoomer Show, held in Toronto, for Canadians age 45 and up. We even sang a few bars of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”. We heartily agreed we love being Zoomers and I daresay the majority of you reading this article are also Zoomers.

Zoomers are baby boomers with zip, a rebranding of the aging boomers that make up 14.5 million Canadians. It is amazing to think that the first of the baby boomers will be turning 65 in 2011 and by the year 2016, according to Statistics Canada, we will outnumber children under 15! This tsunami of middle-aged Canadians – of which I am one – represents the largest demographic this country has ever seen, with the greatest disposable income. Zoomerism, the brainchild of media maven Moses Znaimer – who brought the youth culture to the attention of advertisers with Muchmusic – is doing the same with his newly rebranded Zoomers. According to a recent video his ZoomerMedia produced, Zoomers account for 58 per cent of all consumer spending, made $1.5 billion in online purchases in the past year. His message is: we may be aging but we are doing it fighting all the way, and advertisers are listening. We were important when we were young and we are still important; we’re simply older.

His multi-media empire includes two radio stations, VisionTV, and the glossy Zoomer Magazine, the latter which certainly captured my attention. It may be slick but it covers topics I can relate to such as finances, work, retirement, travel, books, fashion and…wait for it…sex!

It validates my being older and makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. The magazine helped me in my own personal transition in that it led me to CARP – A New of Vision of Aging for Canada.

CARP – formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons – is also under the visionary leadership of Znaimer, who has rebranded it with the R standing for refreshed, recharged and revitalized. As a national, non-partisan and non-profit advocacy group with 350,000 members and growing, CARP’s message to politicians is clear: since almost 70 percent of us vote, help keep us comfortable as we age and we can help keep you in office. CARP’s platform is simple, known as the ABC’s. “Advocacy” for pension reform, health security and human rights. Value-added “benefits” leveraged through the buying power of its membership. And “community” as collectively Zoomers can influence government policy.

The Zoomer Show is coming to the Vancouver Convention Centre on November 27th and 28th. Your local White Rock/Surrey CARP Chapter Executive will be there as well as Patsy Cline and Tina Turner. No confirmation yet on Lucy and Marilyn! Come join us and become a part of the Zoomer experience!