Lumen CMO strives to make the brand synonymous with anti-ageism

Latest TVC campaign in Australia is an example of the dating app's approach to showcasing the modern reality of being over 50

Charly Lester
Charly Lester

Gaining brand synonymity with anti-ageism is the big ambition for co-founder and CMO of Lumen, a new dating app for the over 50s market.  

UK-based Lumen is the brainchild of former dating blogger and journalist, Charly Lester, and French business partner, Antoine Argouges, and is a response to what the pair consider to be a dearth of suitable dating site and apps for the over 50s space. The business has quickly been establishing itself internationally, choosing Australia as its test market earlier this year, and has about 100,000 members locally.  

This week, the brand took the wrappers off its first TV commercial in Australia, featuring the over 50s Atlanta-based dance troupe, Silver Classix Crew, performing a Tron dance in LED suits. The conclusion of the ad sees the eight-strong troupe remove their hats to reveal their faces and ages.  

Lester said the dance group is the embodiment of Lumen’s mission to shine a light on a generation that often feel underrepresented and invisible not only in the dating sphere, but also in a wider cultural context.  

Prior to the TVC, Lumen has been investing largely in billboard advertising, Facebook advertising and PR, taking both a risqué and humour-based approach in its messaging. For example, in early advertising, the catchphrase was ‘get your mum off Tinder’. In April, this was followed up by a local ad campaign featuring naked over-50s women holding campaign signs.  

While the latest TVC is more thoughtful and slick than humorous, Lester said the common thread is the desire to combat ageism and highlight the new normal of being over 50.  

“This is a campaign against ageism – it’s the ‘ism’ we don’t think is spoken enough about,” she told CMO during a visit to Sydney this week.  

“We have done a lot of research, and I talk to a hundred or more members per day, and we know this group don’t feel represented. Eighty per cent of Australians over 50 hate the advertising that targets them, and one-quarter feel underrepresented. This is a global issue.  

“You see very few over 50s characters on TV or in film. The reality today is 50 is not old, but the new 50 is not being reflected in the advertising or culture of today.  

“We want to continue to empower over 50s by reminding the mainstream media that 50 isn’t the end, and in fact for many, it’s just the start of a journey of falling in love with oneself and maybe even someone else.”  


The dance troupe featured in the latest TVC is likely to become one of several stories Lumen uses in its brand activities to showcase what it really means to be over 50 today. As a startup with tight budgets, Lester said it’s being targeted with its marketing programs, retaining an emphasis on billboards, social and online partnerships with media brands such as Marie Claire and Woman and Home.

“We have to test a lot and be very strategic. With this age group, there is no rulebook to advertising to them and we’ve had to rethink our playbook,” she said.  

Being an app-based offering, Lumen is able to see granular spikes in activity and subscriptions, giving it a means to better understand the impact of marketing campaigns, Lester said.  

Another benefit of running a member-based app is the access to a wealth of data that can also supplement storytelling. For example, Lumen members have the ability to choose badges such as whether they are vegan, or drink alcohol. These could be anonymised and turned into fun and light-hearted ‘did you know’ insights, Lester said.  

Whatever the tactics in play, Lester’s ambition is to ensure Lumen challenges the outdated stereotypes of being over 50.  

“We want to be synonymous with anti-ageism. If I can get to a point where Lumen is recognised as a brand fighting ageism, it’s a big win,” she added.

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