Life Has To Have A Purpose: Dream F**king Big – Thank You Barbara Lynch, I Will


Incredibly inspiring interview with chef and restaurateur extraordinaire, Barbara Lynch at last weekend’s Cherry Bombe Jubilee.

This woman has balls – and a potty mouth to match! And that’s why we all worship her!

She has also just written her memoir which she described as being a totally therapeutic and cathartic experience. PLUS, it raised a lot of questions about what it means to be unapologetically yourself.

Here are just a few of the things (verbatim) that 53-year old Barbara Lynch shared:

  • Life has to have a purpose
  • I’m never going to be done working, but I’m ready for the next stage
  • I thought to myself, how many more times can I cook another……
  • This is my jumping off point
  • I need to grow, I can’t worry about the restaurants
  • It’s going to be a big learning curve for me
  • You’ve got to dream fucking big…you can always scale back

Importantly, she made me realize how many people were onboarding for this next stage – whatever “it” is and no matter their age, whether they’re in their 50’s or 60’s! One thing I am 100% sure of, after listening to Barbara, it’s shaping up to be a huge trend and it’s going to be exciting!

And when it comes to trends, I am a big believer in the power of 3 i.e. if I see something new 3 times, in 3 different contexts, over a short period of time, I need to pay attention. Listening to Barbara provided an aha moment for me in thinking about aging and moving thru different lifestages. When she said “how many more times can I cook this….” that resonated so strongly with me because that’s exactly what I went through with Zandl Group and I knew I needed to find something new so that I could keep growing.

Read on below for 3 recent examples of how the concept of aging/lifestage is being redefined for today’s times. There are a lot of boomers out there and, by and large, they feel most brands and media don’t “get” them.

1. Chase Campaign

I wrote about this Chase campaign from Droga5 last July because I just LOVED it so much. Everything from the music (Boombastic by Shaggy!!) to Percy James, their pet piglet, to the couple’s style spoke to me. And I heard thru the grapevine that the commercial was well-received by its target audience.


2. So many cool, high-profile celebrities and creatives in their 70’s these days!!


Martha Stewart (top left) – At 75 she’s hanging out with Snoop Dogg!!

Michele Lamy (above, right) – At 73, a total badass, creative, art world muse (and Rick Owens’ wife). Always thrilling to see her walk by my house on the Lower East Side.

Patti Smith (lower left) – At 70, major rock star, photo from her performance in NYC last July, blown away.


3. ‘Oldvertising’ the Next Big Thing? (Source: Ad Age April 5, 2017)

Key Takeaways:

  • Internet searches on over-50s bring up people who look exaggeratedly old with immaculate gray hair and a wardrobe of pastels.
  • These stereotypes are starting to be challenged.
  • Older people are “perplexed, annoyed and amused” by how little most brands and media “get” them.
  • This older group is keeping up with technology and they want to be spoken to and see themselves in an aspirational way.
  • The big story at this year’s fashion runway shows in NY and Europe, were the range of older models – many in their 70’s and 80’s.
  • Some brands get it. Reebok’s new brand ambassador in China is Wang Deshun, an 80-year-old grandfather (photo above top) who became an instant star after baring his super-ripped torso on the runway at Beijing Fashion Week in 2015.
  • Nike also centered an ad during the 2016 Olympics on 86-year-old nun Sister Madonna Buder, who competes in Ironman races.

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