Square Holes recently spoke to a group of South Australians over 70 about their pastimes and passions. Several had a long roster of volunteering, serving on boards, and personal hobbies that kept them busy.
It could be the freedom of retirement, but most felt they have always been this way:
“I mean you go through times in your life, especially when you’re say a working mother, and you’re just so busy with home and family. If I look back, and I’ve done this recently, and then I’ve reflected back on the times in my 30’s or 40’s and realized that actually I packed a lot in then. I was just packing it in along with my full-time work plus as being a mom.”
Although being older means you can put yourself first:
“I think the difference between when I was working and had about the same number of outside interests, is then I would get up two hours earlier than I do now. It is nice not to be in a rush, and the benefits of getting old is you can be crabby and speak your mind, and deflect some of the things that people throw at you without considering your needs. I for one tend to be a bit more selfish.”
For them, their favourite brands were integral to their hobbies:
“At home, I started at 70 years old doing bonsai, that’s a pretty handy thing to start when you’re 70. Just hope I live long enough to see the results of it. I’ve been a hobby picture framer pretty well most of my life and it seems that out of the woodwork during this COVID virus thing, that people decided they wanted to get things framed, so I’ve been kept pretty busy doing that.”
“I’m a Bunnings fan I’m afraid. I’m one of these handy people, I’m always building things, so I spend a lot of my time at Bunnings, probably two or three times a week when I can.”
“I ACTUALLY LOVE VOLUNTEERING IN ALL CAPACITIES. IN ADELAIDE, I ADORE THE ADELAIDE FESTIVAL AND I’VE BEEN DOING THAT FOR FOUR OR FIVE YEARS BECAUSE YOU NOT ONLY GET TO MEET DIFFERENT PEOPLE, YOU ALSO GET TO MEET THE ARTISTS AND IT DOESN’T COST YOU ANYTHING. SO VOLUNTEERING IS THE KEY THING. I AM ACTUALLY VOLUNTEERING FOR AN ORGANIZATION AT THE MOMENT, BUT THAT’S THE ONLY ONE BECAUSE IT’S ADMIN AND I’M IN AN OFFICE ON MY OWN DOING WHATEVER I NEED TO DO WHICH IS REALLY GREAT.”
“[I LOVE] THE ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE. I’VE BEEN A VOLUNTEER THERE FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS, AND I JUST ENJOY WHAT THEY DO. THEY’RE ABOUT TO OPEN UP THEIR NEW PREMISES, AND THEY’RE JUST SO FOCUSED ON THE ANIMALS. I QUITE ENJOY BEING INVOLVED.”
“[I love] theater, music, reading. They’re extending my brain. If you’re going to theater, you’re challenged by the script. Books are the same. If I attend lectures, I’m always stretching what I’m thinking about. Yeah, I think I just like to be occupied by things that stretch me in all sorts of directions and that can be in the arts or well, just across the board.”
“I cannot go into a book shop and just look at books, I have to always leave with at least one book in my hand. I go to all the secondhand book shops. Oxfam second hand shop. We’ve got another fellow who is on Pulteney Street. They are just everywhere so I’m always popping into bookstores, and I sort of believe I’m helping someone along the line.”
They might think of brands – and their relationship with them – slightly differently than some of the other age groups:
“I wouldn’t have dreamt of talking about Google as favourite brand of mine. I use Google absolutely everyday, but it’s an interesting that people would even think of it as a brand that they love. It’s something that’s a functional aspect of my life.”
For this group, the brands that are associated with their sense of purpose and growth had a special place in their lives. Although this is a small group, brands should consider how their communications resonate with older age groups as Australia’s population continues to skew older.
Square Holes is investigating the role of brands, big and small, in a post-COVID world. Read our previous discussion series on behaviour changes during the COVID-19 crisis.