‘People expect us to be there’: How AARP has adapted its marketing message

Unlike most advertisers, AARP hasn’t reduced how much it’s advertising. Instead, the 60-year-old organization has put out new creative and reconfigured its ad budget for the year, moving money reserved for the fourth quarter to be spent now. (The company did not respond to requests for further information on how much it increased its spending. ) “In the beginning of March, we really reoriented all of our marketing and communications to be through the lens of the coronavirus because that’s all that has really matters,” said Martha Boudreau, chief marketing and communications officer for AARP. Boudreau spoke to Digiday about why the non-profit organization sees its advertising as necessary now, why it isn’t touting commercial benefits and how the company has pivoted its editorial staff to work on more digital news versus longer lead magazine stories. The answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

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