How creators and influencers over 40 are carving out a space on social media

May 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
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Leonardo DiCaprio may prefer young models, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world does (Zing!). This rings especially true regarding which creators represent brands on social media platforms. 

Over the past couple of years, social media users have been explicit in asking for content from brands and creators that’s authentic, diverse, and inclusive. In short, social media users are begging for real.

It makes sense why authenticity resonates well with social media users—especially those actively searching for new products. People want to see how products help people who look like themselves and reflect a similar lifestyle.

And, while social media platforms have typically drawn in younger crowds at first, usage (even on TikTok) is also common among older generations. ​​As of March 2021, half of TikTok users were over 30. 

This means if a brand is looking for its target market on social media, they’re likely actively engaging on the platforms. But just like social media usage isn’t exclusive to one generation, social media ads can’t be targeted toward only Gen Z and younger Millennials.

Thankfully, with the power of audience research, advanced segmenting, and targeting, brands can diversify the content they show to specific audiences. And smart brands are doing just that.

Recently, we’ve seen an uptick in brands marketing to older generations—shifting the creators they partner with to creators over 40. Here’s a look at some brands leveraging the influence of creators over 40.

1. L'Oréal Paris

The “if a tree falls in the woods” analogy applies in several situations. In social media marketing, the saying might go like this, “if a brand advertises to the wrong age demographic, did they advertise at all?”

Well…yes, and the high ad spend and low conversion rates will prove it.

While most social media users are younger, L'Oréal realized much of its target demographic was women over 40. So, it only made sense for L'Oréal to shake up its strategy and start partnering more with creators whobetter reflected its target demographic.

L'Oréal Paris launched a campaign for its Age Perfect Rosy Oil-Serum and hired help from influencers aged 45 to 84. These influencers promoted the serum, acceptance, and self-love by creating love letters to themselves and their aging skin. Then, these influencers shared theirlove letters and other stories on their Instagram accounts.

Here’s a look at how Maria (@aginginstyle), who identifies as an “Oldinfluencer” approached her partnership with L'Oréal Paris.

Instead of the old trope of skin care brands trying to “reverse aging” and using young models, L’Oreal Paris sought partnerships with older influencers who promoted the message of accepting aging and caring for older skin.

The campaign has been wildly popular, and the audience responded positively.

In an AdWeek article, Suzanne Stal, business director at Billion Dollar Boy, explained the results of the campaign:

“To date, we have reached over 1.2 million people, exceeding our KPI by 450%, delivering almost 4 million impressions and achieving an engagement rate of 2.5%.”

This campaign is the perfect example of how brands can diversify ad creative and appeal to a wider demographic.

2. Tillamook

Let’s be honest. The demographic for ice cream products is anyone 1–99+. Everyone likes ice cream. As such, Tillamook partners with creators of all ages—and that means ALL ages.

One of Tillamook’s primary creator partners for its “Partnership for Creamier Ice Cream” campaign is 92-year-old Baddie Winkle. Winkle is adorable, incredibly creative, and has an impressive count of more than 3.2 million Instagram followers.

Tillamook leans into Winkle’s originality and age to establish credibility. Winkle is experienced enough to know what goes in ice cream—and what doesn't. What goes in ice cream, according to Winkle? Cream. What doesn’t? Air.

In one of Winkle’s Instagram-sponsored posts, she says, “I’m too original to not eat the real deal. I didn’t make it to 92 by eatin’ a whole bunch of air 😎Tillamook Ice Cream is the real thing and it’s actually made with more cream, unlike some other brands.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry (for ice cream).

3. Crest

If you haven’t heard of Fashion Santa, now is the time to check out his social accounts. He has nearly 80K Instagram followers, and creates incredibly cool content around style and healthy living.

The oral care brand Crest recently partnered with health and fashion Santa to promote its toothpaste. 

A clever twist on what you’d usually think about the overweight, jolly, and candy-obsessed character, the Crest ad flips the switch.

Fashion Santa’s Crest ad highlights everything he does to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including yoga, biking, eating healthy, and, of course, brushing his teeth with Crest.

Here’s what Fashion Santa has to say about the product: 

“Age is just a number. My formula to great health and wellness is a combination of exercise, eating well and now more than ever, looking after my oral health. To keep my smile healthy and glowing, I’ve started using Crest’s new toothpaste, Densify, to keep my teeth strong for all of life’s great moments still yet to come. This is a product I wished I used when I was younger, as it helps rebuild tooth density (because your teeth lose density like your bones, who knew!) but I am happy I discovered it now.”

For Crest, branching out and identifying more creators means targeting a wider audience with more authentic content.

4. Max Factor

Max Factor is on a mission to change societal definitions of beauty, and it’s starting by targeting a resource everyone has used for years: the dictionary.

When you click on Max Factor’s Instagram link, it redirects you to a change.org page and pleads with you to join the petition. 

The petition's main case is this: “The current definition of the word beauty in the dictionary is based on an outdated notion of what is beautiful.”

The definition? Essentially, the definition equates beauty with youth.

Max Factor argues that “beauty” and “youth” are not synonyms. And “beauty” and “old age” are not antonyms.

When you take a look at Max Factor’s social media campaigns, you’ll see the brand puts its money where its mouth is.

Max Factor features (and partners with) creators of all ages, colors, and statuses. Ultimately, the brand goes above and beyond to show that beauty is inclusive and its products are made for everyone.

To promote its Limited Edition Priyanka Chopra Jonas collection, Max Factor partnered with several creators over 40, including…wait for it…@doesmybumlook40 (Kat Farmer). Lol.

Farmer has over 310K followers and creates content around fashion, beauty, and travel. Her Max Factor-sponsored post follows a popular partnership format.

She walks users through a demo of how she uses the product. In the caption, she talks about the diversity of the product and her personal favorites.

Max Factor is an example of the perfect brand leveraging creators over 40 to widen its reach. And redefine beauty.

5. Three Wishes

While Three Wishes' most recent campaign targets older creators, the focus isn’t necessarily on age; it’s on expertise. 

In this particular campaign, the expertise is plastic surgery. Now, what do plastic surgeon influencers and cereal have in common? At first glance, the answer is “not much.”

That is, there’s not much in common without the careful direction of a creative ad team. Recently, Three Wishes redesigned its cereal boxes. To promote its new branding, the Three Wishes team hired several popular TikTok creators (who also happen to be plastic surgeons) to review their cereal boxes' most recent “facelift.”

Dr. Jacob Sedgh is one of the plastic surgeons Three Wishes hired to review the brand’s facelift. 

Sedgh applies his plastic surgery wisdom to the new design, and his response is hilarious. Sedgh says:

“As you look at the before photos, you can see that the logo was kind of hanging with some drooping of the surrounding tissue. In the after photo, it’s nicely been lifted up. It’s not pulled too much. It looks natural. We always want to keep things naturally lifted. And there’s some chiseling of the corners, as you can see. As far as adding volume to this cereal or adding fat which is common in facial cereal, they don’t have to do much. It’s the same fatty content. So that is great. They are keeping the high protein, low sugar content, and that is why it’s one of my favorite cereals. You can probably find it at your local health store.”

This campaign shows other brands that hiring influencers doesn’t only have to mean hiring young, pretty faces. Creating successful partnerships and outstanding campaigns boils down to identifying your target market and finding ways to creatively infuse a demographic of unique creators to promote your product.

Diversify your creator marketing in 2023

The creator economy is still growing like wildfire. Every day, people are creating content on social media that is drawing in thousands and thousands of consumers.

The best part? There’s no cookie-cutter creator mold. With creators from young beauty influencers to education plastic surgeons and older handsome Santas to hire, the world is truly your oyster.

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