Best practices


Winners of first-ever ICAA Rebranding Aging awards

“Research shows that relatively few marketers focus on the older-adult demographic, and most of those who do get a failing grade. We need shining examples from people who ‘get’ this market so that others can look and learn from them,” says Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging (ICAA). “By recognizing these trailblazers, we are providing tools to guide the efforts of other marketers going down this path. Our winners show it’s very possible to create compelling marketing pieces without reinforcing stereotypes.”

The following organizations were honored for helping to rebrand aging by positioning this life stage in a realistic and positive light, rather than as a burden.



Gold award: Groundzero Marketing, Revera TV Spot #2 Edna
This entry stood out by effectively using humor and actual community members to counter “retirement” community stereotypes.

To view a scanned screen shot of TV advertisement, click here

Silver award: Shannondell at Valley Forge , Inspiring
These ads focused on community members rather than features and benefits to position the community. The focus was on storytelling by profiling community members who inspire others.

To view scanned advertisement, click here: ad 1 - ad 2 - ad 3


Bronze award: Atria Senior Living-NY
Like the Shannondell ads, Atria made consumers the focus of this colorful, eye catching ad series. The ad selected for award used “Fascinating” as the headline to communicate that community was really about the members.

To view scanned advertisement, click here



Gold award: Touchmark Communities for The {Full} Life

This entry was clearly the best of show choice of the judges. The entry used a very creative use of color pallets, double entendre, such as Meaning(FULL), Joy(FULL), Flavor(FULL), to tell the story of community. The brochure also creatively blended nature photos and copy put member stories into the foreground and features into the background.

To view scanned brochure cover, p1 and p2, click here

Silver award: Vivante for Enhanced Living on the Coast - Hard cover

Vivante was selected for its design and layout using digital pictures. At first look, you would assume this was an existing community rather than digital picture of a planned community. The coffee table book offers exceptional shelf life and demonstrated the potential of today’s technology.


To view scanned brochure cover and inside page, click here

Bronze award: Immanuel Communities for Every Community is Unique
Using the Welcome Mat icon, the entry effectively focused on life in this Midwestern community. Clean design and clear call to action were also noted.


To view scanned brochure cover and inside page, click here

Direct mail


Gold award: Shannondell at Valley Forge for Inspiring Stories

Again, Shannondell stood out for its creative storytelling using inspiring member’s stories and a Q & A format to gain the reader’s attention.


To view scanned front, click here. To view back, click here. To view inside of direct mail, click here.


Silver award: Arbor Ridge for Arbor Ridge U

Great use of postcard to promote a community through lifelong learning…Arbor Ridge U. Greats use of realistic photos and creative headlines to capture the attention of prospects.


To view scanned front, click here. To view back of direct mail, click here.


Bronze award: Wellness Institute for Active Aging Passport/Age Actively with Us

Direct mail package creatively used the Passport icon to promote their Active Aging Day program. Package incorporated a guest pass call to action, program of classes and a postcard to invite friends to join you.


To view the scanned direct mail envelope, letter and mail piece, click on link of choice. To view Passport cover and one inside page, click on link of choice.


ICAA received about 70 submissions from organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Awards were made by a panel of experts on the 50+ market. The criteria were as follows: Message and imagery resonates with the target audience and/or evokes positive image of aging (30%); call to action is clear and compelling (30%); ad layout and graphic standards are appealing and appropriate for the target market (20%); overall uniqueness and creativity (20%).