The Drum, in partnership with Twitch, is revealing who has topped our 2022 World Creative Rankings – the definitive guide to advertising’s most creative brands, agencies and people. Earlier this week, we unveiled the 200 most awarded ad campaigns of the last 12 months. Here we get better acquainted with one of those campaigns, catching up with Ogilvy’s Jules Chalkley about the ad that got everyone talking about the joy of later life sex.
Sex and intimacy in the later years of life is not something that is frequently spoken about or shown within the advertising industry, which begs the question – why? As humans, we often take immense joy in our interactions with others and that feeling doesn’t just dissipate after age of 65. With this in mind, the creative team at Ogilvy UK began looking into conversations they felt society should be having, but weren’t – which led them to a mind-boggling statistic.
“The fastest rising cases of sexually transmitted disease are in the over 65,” says Jules Chalkley, chief executive creative director at Ogilvy UK. “Something very big is happening and we’re not talking about it.”
The shocking numbers accelerated the team’s want to shine a light on sex in our older years and, working with relationship support organization Relate and renowned photographer Rankin, the campaign ‘Let’s Talk The Joy of Later Life Sex’ started to take shape.
“We went on this amazing journey with Relate about how to talk to that audience in a way that is authentic, respectful, celebratory and joyous,” Chalkley tells us.
Early stages of the creative process included searching Google for intimate images of older generations, which produced practically nothing aside from the occasional porn videos.
“We set up scope to populate that space with beautiful photographs,” Chalkley says, which is a project that needed the cheeky Rankin touch.
“He’s just so good at capturing the spirit of people, he was getting so much out of them.”
A beautiful short film was released featuring five older couples and one woman in their most intimate settings talking openly about their relationships. To make everyone feel as comfortable as possible, an intimacy coach was on-set and the result was a very personal conversational video.
“No one had to do anything they didn’t want to do. It’s just really about them expressing themselves and telling their stories.”
To coincide with the film, the team released black and white shots with some attention-grabbing copy.
“We’d written loads of stuff that we thought was too over the top and a bit ridiculous,” says Chalkley. The sex therapist working with the team assured them, however, that they needed to be ”ruder and cheekier” to resonate with the older audience.
According to the creative director, marketers are missing a massive trick in not conversing with over 65s in a relatable way. “They are trying to live their life as much as they can. And they’ve got the means and the money to do it. They’re like millennials with cash, basically.”
Reception to the campaign was overwhelmingly positive, sparking conversations globally, and even organizations like LadBible with younger fanbases picked up on the story.
In advertising, says Chalkley, ”we have an obsession with youth”. But, he adds, ”people from every generation have great stories and great things to say”.
“As we get older, we don’t really change. Only our bodies do.”