Advertising To Millennials

How to Advertise to Millennials?

According to William Strauss and Neil Howe, a Millennial is someone born after 1982.  Having been born in 1983, I certainly qualify for this generational “branding”.  Some of the facts of our generation is as follows – we are “detached from institutions, and networked with friends.”  Their report claims we are more upbeat about our future than older generations, with 49% of “us” believing America's best years are yet to come.  Safe to say we are optimistic as a whole.  One fact that may surprise you is, only 21% of us care about the environment, while 33% of Baby Boomers do.  This data aside, how can advertisers reach us millennials?

Some of our guiding principles are rooted in the concept of interactive advertising campaigns that do not just interrupt the consumer with a push/pull type of message.  I believe there may be a misconception among marketers, on how to really reach some 80 million millennials.  We still watch TV, listen to the radio, drive our cars and look out the windows, use the internet and our phones, as well as read (of course there are more things we do).  Companies should learn to be smarter, and stop taking all this research as the diagram for reaching this demo.  What I challenge is this, stop running campaigns that “inspire” and fit into what research suggests our generation does while consuming media.  I think things really aren't that different.  Run a marketing/advertising campaign that answers the questions – why this product, and why now?

Stop thinking that the “next big thing” is going to solve your advertising problems.  Retargeting ads have a place, social media ads have a place, mobile ads and apps have a place – it all has a place.  We are a large group of consumers – not some mythical group of beings, that have to be told you are doing all you can to earn our business.  Just focus on blocking and tackling again.