My conspiracy theory.

I don’t watch the news on TV anymore. I get it fed to me online. I have no idea where my newsfeeds come from. They just appear out of thin air on my iPhone seemingly at their own convenience and pleasure.

When I used to watch the news on TV, I always watched NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.

Why Lester Holt? Because I trusted Lester Holt. I trusted his reporting style. I trusted his journalistic integrity. And I trusted his knowing smile. Who knew behind that knowing smile was a sinister plot to make me grow older faster.

Exactly how old am I? As a marketing demographic I am 65 or over. Statistically, that’s all you need to know.

But let’s get back to Lester Holt and my conspiracy theory. It all comes down to the age-old question, which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Now let’s re-frame the same question with Mr. Holt in mind. Which came first to NBC Nightly News? Old people or old people’s advertising?

Before I go further, as a practicing marketer myself, I am fully aware of the prevailing, universally-accepted, theory. People 65 or older watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. Therefore advertisers buy time on the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt to promote products that people 65 or older buy.

Being 65 or over, I reject that theory outright.

Let me pose a different scenario. Watching Lester Holt makes people grow older faster. In other words, it wasn’t the chicken that came first. It was Lester Holt.


Here’s a partial list of the brand name products advertised on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and what they treat.

Restasis. Rheumatoid arthriits.

Toviaz. Loss of bladder control.

Lyrica. Seizures.

Caltrate. Bone health.

Boniva. Osteoporosis.

Cialis. Erectile dysfunctiion

Reclast. Hip fractures.

Prilosec. Ulcers.

Plavix. Heart attacks.

Vesicare. Overactive bladder.

Notice all the confusing code names? Boniva? Toviaz? Don’t they realize people 65 or over get easily confused? You bet they do.

Now where was I? Oh yeah.

And that’s not to mention the advertisers who were either too lazy or unimaginative to hide their diabolical schemes. Advertisers like Phillips Colon Health and Touch of Grey.

See what I’m getting at? It’s not old people who watch Lester Holt. It’s watching Lester Holt that makes people get old.

Still not convinced? It appears that simply delivering the NBC Nightly News has effected Mr. Holt himself.

Yes, I realize my conspiracy theory sounds illogical and stupid. But isn’t that the very definition of a conspiracy theory?

And don’t take just my word for it. Take a look at this chart from the Pew Foundation.

What does the chart say? I have no idea. I can’t find my glasses. But let me take a stab at it anyway.

People 18 to 29 get 50% of their news online. People 65 or older get 85% of their news from Lester Holt. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

My conclusion. if you want to grow older slower, get your news where people 18 to 29 get their news. Online.

Conversely, if you want to grow older faster, go ahead, watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. It’s your funeral.

I think it comes on at 7:00 but check your local listings. I’m always in bed by 6:30.

Published by bassetts49

50 years in advertising, 20 years as the creative lead on Geico. A life in creative thinking.

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