They say 40 is the new 30, but creaking bones and aching joints betray that lie. Without the bloom of youth, the body needs some help: diet, exercise, vitamins and supplements. And as many activities get more difficult, small victories become more meaningful.
In its new integrated campaign, "Feats of Middle Age," from Walrus, things such as clambering out of a swimming pool, hoisting oneself over a fence or exiting a tiny, ground-skimming car with a modicum of grace are treated as great feats of strength. The spots end with a spirited, old-fashioned "brought to you by Slow-Mag" magnesium and calcium supplement.
According to Walrus Founder and Chief Creative Officer Deacon Webster, "The client came to us with research that showed there was a real opportunity with 40-something active men in terms of supplement use. They also had a good deal of intuitive sense as to how middle-aged men were feeling, physically." The agency then conducted its own research, even going so far as to have men writer "letters to aging," which yielded lines like "Dear aging , please slow down" and "Dear aging, FU."
"They really gave us a sense of both what they were facing in terms of their bodies and how much they were working to mitigate those effects," Webster said.
The findings allowed the agency to focus the work. "We knew we wanted to comisserate with these guys and let them know that we understood that middle age is not all tandem biking and rolled up linen pants on the beach like most supplement ads would have them believe," Webster says.
Besides spots, the campaign also includes podcasts like "The Art of Manliness," "Stick to Football" and "Good Dad Project." There's also programmatic audio on Spotify and Pandora geared toward the target. Print-wise, the agency created cover-wraps for mags in physiologist offices.
For online, Walrus also created a ridiculous Outbrain ad that shows users "How to use your feet to pick stuff up" (or recommends ust using Slow-Mag instead, and in the real world, Slow-Mag is sponsoring four Slow Pitch softball leagues in its key markets of New York, Rochester, Denver and Grand Rapids, for which it's providing t-shirts, signage, swag and more.
The campaign is running through 2018 and Walrus is currently working on evolving it for next year.