A flyer in today’s newspaper is trolling for subscribers to a new magazine, and I’m kind of creeped out.
Founder Moses Znaimer, the new executive director of the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP), replaced the old CARP magazine with a glossy lifestyles publication called Zoomer. The CARP web site is rebranded as “brought to you by Zoomer Media.” There’s a Zoomers “social network” where the demographic of “boomers with Zip” can connect with “new friends, groups, mates or dates” and more.
I’m not sure whether Znaimer himself took credit for coining the term “Zoomer” or journalists are just giving it to him, but Wikipedia gives the honours to gerontologist Dr. David J. Demko.Â He came up with it in 1998 to describe “a baby boomer, born between 1946-1964, who leads an active, adventurous lifestyle.”
The flyer for Zoomer, the magazine, says, “Smart, sophisticated, feisty and cool: Zoomers are where the action is!” And “just like you,” it’s “not afraid to be passionate and occasionally outrageous.”
There’s something about the breathless enthusiasm for “awesomely ageless boomers” and “boomers zig-zaging and zoooooming toward a bright new horizon chockful of possibilities” that just strikes me a little false. If things are so darn rosy, why are plastic surgeons in such demand? Why are many of those falling within the Zoomer years running for Botox injections at the first sign of wrinkles? Doesn’t it seem just a little like there’s a sales job going on?
I’m all for living your life to the fullest and embracing each day, as Zoomers (and I am one) all apparently do. But the positive reinforcement of our continued Boomer awesomeness just seems a little forced, don’t you think?
I read the premier issue of Zoomer and while the production values are high and the staff is impressive and vast — how does a startup pay all those salaries? — and they even have a feature interview with Wayne Gretzky, I was surprised to be left with a feeling that this is just another magazine like so many others out there. Pages and pages of new products! A sex column! Fashion spreads! Goodness, don’t we older people have anything more interesting on our minds than blatant consumerism? Why wouldn’t this new concept magazine go in a new direction editorially?
Was there a ton of advertising fattening the issue? That may be paying the salaries. No doubt they see the growing numbers of zippy Zoomers with cash as ideal consumers! I will probably buy a copy, too, just to see for myself.