5 Things to Learn About the 50+ Audience From the Sex and the City Reboot

How marketers can reach this demo today

And Just Like That… they're back!

The reboot of Sex and the City, streaming now on HBO Max, profiles Carrie Bradshaw, Charlotte Goldenblatt and Miranda Hobbes as they once again navigate friendship, love and the Big Apple … this time in their 50s. 

Consumers' curiosity around what's new with their favorite sitcom characters later in life reflects the reality that many women (and men) are living their best lives after 50. Marketers should take note of the frenzy around the hotly anticipated revival.

Here are a few lessons And Just Like That… has to offer marketers about the empowered 50+ audience:

They're living life to the fullest.

Adults over 50 are living their best lives—as Miranda once said, "I want to enjoy my success, not apologize for it." Expect to see your favorite New Yorkers exploring all the city has to offer in the series, from an afternoon at the Met to window shopping on Fifth Avenue or popping out of the office to grab an espresso.

The characters of AJLT represent an active and empowered demographic, offering an enormous opportunity for marketers. 50+ adults are the financially dominant demographic, responsible for 53 percent of all consumer spending annually. Making the 50+ audience a priority is an easy strategy any marketer can adopt in any category, from health and wellness to shopping and travel.

They splurge on travel.

Who can forget Carrie's move to Paris? While she quickly returned stateside, Carrie and the other characters—now in their 50s and 60s—are making time to travel the world. Sarah Jessica Parker was spotted filming with Chris Noth (Mr. Big) on Paris' famed Pont des Arts bridge ahead of the premiere.

Whether it's for a romantic getaway with a spouse, a holiday trip to spend time with grandchildren, or an exotic tropical vacation with your friends, 50+ adults love to travel. They spent $66 billion over the past year on travel, and were 24 percent more likely than younger cohorts to have budgeted at least $3,000 on vacation within the last 12 months. With 58 percent of 50+ adults planning vacation travel in the next year, travel marketers—especially those offering luxury experiences—can't afford to overlook their prime audience.

They enjoy a good night in.

In their 30s, Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha spent countless nights out at crowded bars sipping Cosmos. But now in their 50s, they value a good night in just as much as a late night out.

Behind-the-scenes photos of the AJLT show Carrie and Mr. Big enjoying a date night at home cooking together. This reflects the lifestyle of many 50+ consumers, who account for 61 percent of spending on household supplies, 55 percent of entertainment spending, and 53 percent of food eaten at home. Whether it's home meal plans, recipe kits, restaurant delivery services, home furnishings, home theater providers or media streaming platforms, brands that offer goods and services that elevate a night in should home in on the 50+ audience.

They're eager to stay connected to friends and family.

"Dreams change, trends come and go," said Carrie, "but friendships never go out of style." And the anticipation around the upcoming reboot proves that relationships continue to play an enormous role in the lives of 50+ adults. While Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall, isn't in the new series, the show will feature familiar faces alongside new friends, including Sara Ramirez, Nicole Ari Parker, Sarita Choudhury and Karen Pittman.

50+ adults' desire to connect with one another and remain close with friends and family helps explain why this audience is a major player in social media and personal tech. Among 50+ adults online, 74 percent use social media and 73 percent use instant messaging. And 98 percent of 50+ adults own a cellphone; 91 percent own a smartphone. The takeaway for marketers? Help 50+ stay connected to one another and you'll form a lasting bond with a loyal consumer. 

They (still) love shopping.

What would the show be without a fabulous wardrobe and lots of shopping? As Samantha wisely advised, "Always look like you know where you're going, even if you don't." While not all 50+ adults have Carrie Bradshaw-size closets filled to the brim with boxes of Manolo Blahniks (especially after 18+ months of working from home and quarantining), they do spend more on goods and services than their younger cohorts—and represent 41 percent of all e-commerce spending.

Instead of sky-high heels and cocktail dresses or dress shoes and fitted blazers, many 50+ adults (and consumers in general) have traded in their going-out attire for more comfortable and wearable options, representing a premium audience for a variety of fashion advertisers, ranging from paired down luxury basics like Everlane and Madewell to "athleisure" brands like Lululemon and Alo. Heading over 71 million households, 50+ prove they're an audience ideally positioned to buy new products and services.

The bottom line

Marketers that tune in for the premier of And Just Like That... are bound to gain insights into the increasingly influential 50+ audience.

Of all the takeaways, however, perhaps the most important is that 50+ adults aren't afraid of reinvention and revival. They're dynamic and they're continuing to build relationships, grow businesses, pursue passions, learn new things, and experience all that life has to offer.

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Danielle McMurray
Danielle McMurray is VP of marketing at AARP Media Solutions.

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