Feb. 17: The world stops for those over 75 (and me)

January 22, 2009

I’m not going to lie – I’m a bit behind the times. I don’t understand most video games. I purchased a MP3 player about six months ago and… dum, dum, dum… I don’t have cable TV.

I like my little TV, which gets around three to five stations depending on the day, time and my patience adjusting the rabbit ears.

While I’m slow to pick up on the latest and greatest, I am painfully aware of the analog to digital switch – and the impending date of Feb. 17

I’ve seen my share of the tedious commercials showing people how easy it is to add a converter box to your elderly loved one’s TV. I’d be inspired to help someone myself, but my 82-year-old grandma has a full array of cable stations.

And to be honest, I haven’t made the switch myself.

Why? I’m not worried about losing my TV, but more importantly, I think the campaign is misleading and painful for the demographic it targets. It repeats a tired message about how easy it is to convert, but neglects to emphasize that the $40-off-coupon system is out of money and on-hold. The commercials seem trite and unhelpful.

To be even more honest, I find the assumption that all antenna-users are over the age of 75 to be annoying. However, I’m a focus group of one and that’s the worst sort of group*.

As I attempt to keep an open mind, do you think this campaign is alerting the right groups with the right methods? Is there an easy way to ensure a smooth transition or are we destined for static on Feb. 17?

*I’m not suggesting a campaign geared at Gen Xers, I get that we 20 and 30somethings probably should figure out the converter box on our own time.