Bauer Media, home to entertainment brands including Magic, Empire, Absolute Radio and Grazia, has launched The Luminaries, a piece of research revealing completely fresh insights showing the ‘Juggling Generation’ is dead. The 35-54 year old ‘Luminaries’ are an entrepreneurial, confident and aspirational group with behaviour vastly different from those generations before them.

The ‘juggling generation’ before them had young children, were interested in celebrity culture, food and healthy living, were high-users of social media and were known to have many households with stay-at-home Mums’. In just one generation, their behaviour and attitudes towards social media and work has evolved to reveal some fascinating insights.

This vibrant and active group equate to just under 10m people within the UK. In contrast to the previous generation, they are confident, yet grounded and are enjoying their lives in a way their parents didn’t before them. In contrast to established assumptions about this audience, they are entrepreneurial, are open to new experiences, music and seek to engage with bold, positive brand messages.

The study explores the evolving lives of the Luminaries and how they interact with technology, family and media, whilst taking a closer look at how their behaviour has changed:

  • Family Beacon - This group are increasingly becoming the ‘go to’ beacon in their family, another.  A male, aged 44 from the study commented, “As my parents age, I am taking the driving seat in the family”.
  • Mircropreneurs - Technology has had a huge impact on their lives, assisting their entrepreneurial attitude to work as they strive for a better work/life balance. 11% supplement their income by regularly selling items on eBay. “I spent my 30s on the hamster wheel. I want to spend my 40s doing a job I genuinely love” – male, 46.
  • New bedroom antics - At home, technology has altered their daily schedules, with over a third in bed by 10pm on a weekday [36%]. This is often driven by a desire to engage with technology, be that streaming entertainment content, online shopping or social media. A female Luminarie aged 38 said, “We regularly head to bed at 9pm, open our laptop & watch a box set together”.
  • Music Triggers Memories - Radio is often the soundtrack to their lives, with 72% having the radio on whenever possible. When it comes to music, they know what they like – 91% don’t feel guilty about the music they enjoy listening to and 80% see themselves as passionate about music. Female, aged 46, “There is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, it is just a pleasure”.
  • Don’t Box Me In- They like the fact that radio continues to broaden their music choices and over a third (35%) listen to the radio to discover new music. “It’s the soundtrack of my life” – female, aged 44.

The study also looks at how these changing attitudes are affecting brand relationships. Findings include:

  • Reflect their attitudes, not their age; they want to be judged on their behaviour, rather than a number. “They should ban the words ‘middle-aged’” – female, aged 49.
  • Authenticity is key, so build meaningful relationships to drive loyalty. “Life experiences & events have made me wiser. I can now trust my intuition” – male, 38.
  • Create valued experiences to fulfil their need to live life to the maximum. A female aged 37 said, “My husband and I take it in turns to be the ‘secure one’”.
  • Luminaries love to spend and have more disposable income than in their 20s and early 30s. This, coupled with their appetite to build strong relationships with brands, makes them valuable. The Luminaries said, “There are items that I lust after, and usually I can justify buying them for myself as essential”female, aged 41.
  • There is concern about media filtering, particularly through digital algorithms; they don’t want their exposure to news and culture to be narrowed. A female aged 38 commented, “I worry that my media choices are constantly being filtered whether I like it or not”.
  • Brands need to be bold and share positivity to engage this vibrant audience. A female Luminaire aged 42 said, “I’m a bit old for V these days but I want to get to the Isle of Wight Festival this year”.

Abby Carvosso, Group MD, Bauer Advertising, said: “Our in-depth insight helps us to really understand changing consumer behaviour. We couple this with the instinct of our editorial and programming talent to create content with true cultural resonance. The learnings from this study will ensure that we develop deeply engaging and impactful advertising messages and partnerships that will connect with this often misunderstood audience who don't want to be put in a box”.

This research is the next chapter in the audience insight series from ‘Bauer Knowledge’, following on from in depth audience studies into Millennials and Game Changers (25-44-year-old ABC1 women). The research approach was multifaceted, combining innovative qualitative techniques, in-home suppers with consumers and WhatsApp discussion groups, with a robust quantitative study.

There are just under 10 million Luminaries in the UK, with Bauer Media reaching 5.73 million of these through the following brands: Magic, Grazia, Absolute Radio, Bauer City Network, Closer, Empire, Bella, That’s Life, Q, Top Santé and MCN.

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