It’s actually an interesting point. I’m only a bit older than you so I get where you are coming from.
When I started in this hearing care profession in 1994, everyone was fanatical about small hearing aids. When Ronald Reagan got CIC hearing aids, it was all over. You only had to run an ad for a CIC and the phone would ring off the hook. Among the older generation who lived in the 90s, their absolute goal was that it be invisible. They wouldn’t care if it was the most aesthetically beautiful hearing aid in the world, and that Battista Pininfarina himself designed it, they were not interested in something noticeable.
Okay, so I’m making some sweeping statements, but bear with me… :rolleyes:
What I’ve seen happen in more recent years is people, even old people, have become a lot more open to the concept of visible, yet subtle hearing aids. I can go a whole month now without fitting a single CIC. And my theory is that back in the early 90s, we didn’t have Bluetooth, we didn’t see every man and his dog carrying a cell phone, we didn’t all wear iPods. But now we live in an era where so many people, perhaps especially young people have devices on their ears all the time. So my patients, even the older ones, have noticed this trend. So they are less self conscious about having a subtle device on their ear.
The company I work with, like most hearing aid companies, used to just let the scientists come up with the hearing aid design. Just a mass of nasty beige plastic for the most part. But when the current generation of cases were invented, the company brought in a design team of artists and fashion types to design the case, and then tasked the scientists with putting the technology in the pretty case.
This was a first for the company. And it really worked out. They won ten international design awards, including one from the Smithsonian.
So I think you are going to see more and more cool looking hearing aids over time. Most of the major companies have now figured out that people are not going to accept ugly monstrosities on their ear.
Back to your original point though, I think that some of the ‘old school’ ad people who put out the marketing are still remembering the days when invisible was the buzz word, and they expect that ad to pull well.
Also many companies are releasing IIC technology, or even implanted hearing aids, so they are getting some press too. After all these didn’t really exist a few years ago, so it’s something new an shiny to tempt the buying public with.