Millennials And Car Culture: They Care About Driving, But Not About Driving New Cars

Millennials bring unique attitudes and a different cultural mindset to vehicles than their older peers, but the fact is, they still drive even though they have to abandon text messaging and social media while they do so.

We’ve been seeing plenty of headlines this week about how Millennials don’t like cars and don’t want to drive. The auto industry is sweating because Millennials aren’t buying cars at the same rate that Boomers did in their youth, citing their preference for technology and the Internet over cars. The ultimate question is whether this shift is driven by a new mindset about driving (which will likely not change) or economic conditions (which will likely change). Of course, there’s a possibility that it’s both.

 

Millennials do bring unique attitudes and a different cultural mindset to vehicles, but the fact is, they still drive. But an article in The New York Times cites stats including:

"In 2008, 46.3 percent of potential drivers 19 years old and younger had drivers’ licenses, compared with 64.4 percent in 1998, according to the Federal Highway Administration."

And:

"Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18 to 24 said they would choose Internet access over owning a car, according to the research firm Gartner."

What it fails to note, however, is that new laws restricting licenses for drivers under age 18 took effect during the decade reference, reducing the number of fully licensed teen drivers. As for the 46% of 18-24 year olds who would choose the Internet over driving, that doesn’t reflect the number that would like to do both. What’s more, that figure also means a majority of 18-24 year olds (54%) would choose a car over a computer.

An article in The Atlantic says:

"Growing up in the 'burbs was part of the reason driving was so central to Baby Boomers' lives. Car keys meant freedom. To city dwellers, they mean struggling to find an empty parking spot."

It also notes:

“Surveys have found that 88 percent [of Millennials] want to live in an urban…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I think one of the coolest devices is actually the film camera because it kind of brings you back to another time. There's also a different kind of quality to the film camera.” -Female, 21, TN

Millennials covet discovering something new, and Atlas Obscura, a travel and discovery media company, is keeping that in mind as they target those members of the generation with an “insatiable curiosity and adventurous spirit.” The site’s more niche, obscure, yet intriguing content, like “Touring the Tombs” and “Nine Amazing Takes on Treehouses,” sets it apart from other Millennial-focused publishing platforms. With $2 million in funding, it now plans to expand from user-generated travel topics to areas like food and history. The company’s popular real-life events also make it more appealing to younger consumers, who are looking for something unique to do in the offline world. (DigidayAtlas Obscura)

America’s sweet tooth isn’t as big as it used to be, and younger diners are even less likely to indulge in desserts. A recent report found that only 12% of dinners eaten at home include a dessert, which is down from 15% 10 years ago, and only 9% of 18-34-year-olds are eating dessert with dinner, compared to 19% of those 55 and up. More healthful eating could be hampering dessert’s position at the dinner table, and a December 2014 Ypulse monthly survey found that 49% of Millennials consider nutritional information when grocery shopping. (USA Today)

To effectively sell kids’ products and content, understanding the new generation of parents is essential, and Millennials are becoming the influential parenting majority. A “Proprietary Survey of Moms” states that Millennial parents and their children are accustomed to being “hyper connected, with on demand content available with the ‘swipe’ of a finger and a mobile device.” This generation of families also seems to love products that have a link to the content they watch. It’s estimated that between 25% and 50% of toy purchases in the U.S. are now related to entertainment franchises, and 90% of moms say they bought a toy linked to one of the big movies of 2014: Frozen, Lego, Marvel, Transformers. (Quartz)

As young consumers shift the dining industry with their unique expectations, tastes, and increasing spending power, major food brands are doing everything they can think of to appeal to them—and some might not quite hit the mark. A collection of marketing and rebranding strategies that chains and brands have employed to lure Millennial customers includes redesigning to become “a chill place to be chill at,” changing to pouch packaging, calling food “artisanal,” and embracing selfie campaigns. Adding kale and, of course, sriracha everything to menu items have been common tactics to attract them as well. (Eater)

While kids of all ages are watching TV, the way they watch shifts significantly over time. Nielsen’s Total Audience Report 2015 reveals that the number of hours spent watching TV in an average week decreases as young viewers get older. The youngest viewing age group also watches far more content on their computers, with 2-11-year-olds watching almost five hours of content via computer and 18-to-24-year-olds spending 19 minutes of their average weekly viewing time the same way. However, general “web surfing” on a desktop increases as young consumers go from pre-school to high school. (Adweek)

We give you a dose of Millennial insight on a daily basis, but every quarter, we zoom our lens out to look at some of the larger trends happening within the generation—and why they matter to brands. Our Gold subscribers have access to the Ypulse Quarterly report, an in-the-know guide to Millennials that synthesizes the major trends and stats we’ve seen over the last quarter of the year. We take a close look at the "why behind the what" of big trends and provide in-action examples and supportive data, along with implications for you to take away. (Ypulse)

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