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Skoda (and Francis Brennan) launch campaign to get retirees back to work

Wednesday, 27th November, 2019 4:31pm

Appropriately for a brand whose history dates back to the 1920s and beyond, Skoda has worked out that there’s plenty of life left in the aged.

Skoda Ireland has just launched a new campaign, called Simply Old, Still Clever (a riff on the brand’s Simply Clever ad slogan) that aims to get those who’ve retired from the motor trade back into harness.

Now, we’re not talking full-time employment here. Skoda’s idea is to recruit these elder experts to be extra pairs of hands and eyes in dealerships during the busy months of January and February, when some 43 per cent of the entire year’s supply of new cars is sold.

At that time, and in spite of the recent drop-off in new car sales, many dealerships find themselves short of staff just when sales are running at their hottest.

Skoda Ireland head of marketing and product, Raymond Leddy said: “Many vehicle brands are over-focused on the youth market, technology and digitalisation. Very few brands are stepping into the territory of considering older employees and even fewer will publicise or endorse associations with the older generation. At Skoda, we see ourselves as paving the way for others in not just the motor industry but in Irish businesses in general to follow suit.”

The Czech brand has teamed up with hotelier and TV personality Francis Brennan for the launch of the campaign. “I just turned 66 and I have no plans to retire anytime soon,” said Mr Brennan.

“Many of us are fitter and more physically active in our fifties and sixties than our parents were. Life expectancy is at record levels and we can expect a much longer period of healthy, active retirement. The more I experience, the more I know that keeping mentally active has significant benefits for health and wellbeing. Opportunities like this will bring huge benefits to both the employees and the Skoda business in general.”

With this scheme, Skoda is to an extent playing to its own gallery, as it knows that older people are more likely to be car buyers than those still in the first flush of youth. Over 65’s represent more than 15 per cent of the Irish population, and that’s expected to reach 23 per cent by 2040.

This group is already valued by Skoda as this generation has been essential to the success of the brand in Ireland with 18 per cent of their current customers over the age of 60. This growing cohort has also proven to be more loyal with 90 per cent of this group likely to repurchase (versus 85 per cent of 31-40 year olds).

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