Voluntary Sector: Oddfellows bids to turn around over-50s' image

The Oddfellows, the social networking organisation for the over-50s, is revamping its image in a bid to appeal to 'new-age' older people and boost membership.

The not-for-profit organisation has called in start-up agency AllBigFish to relaunch it as an expert on today's older generation. It wants to advocate positive images of older people as it bids to drive membership.

'Today's 55-year-olds bear very little resemblance to the 55-year-olds of 20 years ago,' said Denise Mullen, chief executive of AllBigFish, which won the account in a competitive pitch.

'Not only are they younger in outlook, fitter and more health-conscious, they are far more actively engaged socially and more media-savvy,' she added.

AllBigFish plans to publish research on the disparity between how older people perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others. It will also compare the pastimes of older and younger people, and emphasise that older people can easily make friends and take up new hobbies.

'Although most of our 100,000 members are retired, they are far from sedentary,' said Oddfellows events and comms manager Dawn Walters.

She said 'Active and ageless' would be the strapline for the membership recruitment campaign.

AllBigFish will provide support for Oddfellows branches via local media relations, focusing initially on London and the East.

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