Social media may appear a young people’s business but these perceptions haven’t stopped a new wave of influencers from carving their niche in the space. Granfluencers is their name and while they cover very different topics they are all 65-and-more years old.
In a sea of young, pretty, impeccable bodies for many is refreshing to encounter a wrinkly face that shows the sign of time passed while dispensing the knowledge they accumulated in almost an entire lifetime.
For marketers, granfluencers are a precious source of trust and candor, none would doubt their grandma, right?
Not only that but they also bring the value of their experience and wisdom to the table, things that are almost impossible to have been acquired by younger generations, yet.
Many granfluencers started during the pandemic. They were looking for a way to keep themselves entertained while connecting with others. They rapidly discovered that were not only their peer to find their content interesting but also many younglings could feel captivated and inspired by them.
Since they appeared for the first time, granfluencers have evolved into a real phenomenon. Many of them started collaborating together and created geriatric versions of the content houses, the most popular being appropriately called Retirement House, which collected over 5 million subscribers on TikTok.
What are Granfluencers?
They are old, they are cool, and they are here to rule. Granfluencers are showing that social media are not exclusive to the younger generation but can be a powerful tool for anyone.
The name, portmanteau of grand plus influencer, wants to show how their most visible differentiating characteristic is their 65 and above age.
Typically we expect older people to be weak and frail, to spend most of their time napping, and be overall boring, granfluencers are subverting these expectations by showing how there is fun and joy even after retirement.
Granfluencers have been able to bring themes related to older age to a younger audience and disprove some of the myths about getting old. Research has found that their three most common themes are breaking stereotypes about aging, explaining the vulnerabilities of old age, and, finally, exposing ageism. Overall the content created by granfluencer is positive or when negative is mostly self-deprecating.
Thanks to their content and efforts granfluencers have been able to bring the problems and challenges of aging and later life stages to the young audience that populates TikTok. They are helping to create a better understanding of older people’s limits.
While not the definitive solution, granfluencers are showing themselves as an important step in breaking common age-related stereotypes. Their example is showing that even in older age people can be living an active life.
What are the unique characteristics of Granfluencers?
Like normal influencers, granfluencers post about their hobbies and passions: Baddie Winkle, with 3.2 Million followers on Instagram, shares about fashion. TravelingBlackWidow shows how you can still enjoy adventures in foreign lands even in your retirement years. Meanwhile, Bo is going to teach you all the dad wisdom he accumulated.
- Granfluencers show that aging is not the end of their world. There are still many ways to enjoy your life even in later years.
- Their message is powerful and unique. Able to transcend age groups and resonate with younger audiences
- They are grounded and real. Showing that it is enough to be oneself to be happy and fulfilled.
- They remind us of our limits. Both as things that we need to accept but also not as insurmountable obstacles to living life to the fullest.
Why Granfluencers are important for brands?
As discussed above granfluencers are a largely positive phenomenon that is helping break stereotypes and misconceptions around older people.
For brands partnering with older influencers is a unique opportunity to show their inclusivity and norm-breaking stance.
On a more practical side, a granfluencer partnership can deliver a strong surprise, especially if the sponsoring brand is not particularly targeted at older folks.
Overall any brand can find the right angle to partner with a granfluencer. Baddie Winkle, whose real name is Helen Vanwinkle, has taken numerous partnerships with large fashion and makeup brands like Sephora, Fashion Nova, and Skechers. But even more unexpectedly she signed collaborations with Bumble, Svedka Vodka, and LG. In all these partnerships the main focus of the campaign was to show that age is not a limiting factor and that elders can still doll up, party, and enjoy themselves. Helen’s character with her over-the-top attitude and colorful attires is very well suited for this kind of partnerships.
Makeup brands are some of the strongest endorsers of granfluencers, and for a good reason: by reaching out to older audiences they are going to tap into a large customer base that is often neglected when it comes to fashion and beauty products. Concurrently by partnering with elder influencers, they are able to break the traditional makeup ad formula that would see a young and attractive girl being the main character. Not only this unique approach is going to deliver more striking and memorable ads but is also working towards showing the brand image as inclusive and attentive to the needs and desires of different groups of people.
Charlotte, the Traveling Black Widow is instead more focused on her partnerships: they are mostly locations where she is traveling that sponsor her Instagram. Thanks to these she is able to bring to her audience how is possible to enjoy traveling in many different places even during retirement and that older people shouldn’t be confined at home.
Another interesting case is the one of Aura Frames: their core target audience is much closer to the granfluencer demographic than the previous examples. Still, many older and family-oriented people may not come across them or expect them to be complicated or of no use to them. By collaborating with many granfluencer Aura Frames was able to establish itself as one of the big players when it come to Eframes.
In the truly open and inclusive nature of the internet, granfluencers are here to represent the elders and break the myths around aging. Just by their mere existence, they can help us all remember that aging isn’t the end of the world and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy life at its fullest after retirement.
For brands, granfluencers are a new powerful vector to drive attention. They not only appeal to the young crowd but they can also help to connect with older generations and present products and services that they wouldn’t have felt comfortable with by themselves.