My Mother-in-Law's Secret Arm Signal 

As I continue my countdown to age 50 (49 days away) and dig into the apparent myth that ages 18 through 49 is the sweet spot audience, my gut, which tells me the 18-49 premise is absurd, is reinforced by today’s Exhibit A. It’s my mother-in-law’s secret arm signal.

My mother-in-law, let’s call her “Marie” (because that’s her name) will not reveal her age for this story. Let’s just say she’s old enough to be …. my mother-in-law. In other words, she’s out of “the demo.” So programmers and advertisers who worship 18-49 may be surprised to learn about her secret arm signal. I had CNN graphic artist Jason Proudler try to capture the image. Some might think it illustrates a person covering her mouth to avoid spreading H1N1. That’s what some young, out of touch, advertisers and programmers might have guessed. But they guessed wrong.

The Signal’s Hidden Meaning

This story began a few weeks ago, when my mother-in-law and I were having a nice conversation in my kitchen. I told her I had to go play a tennis match. That’s when she gave me the signal.