Millennials’ Plan: The Generation’s Top 10 Personal Goals

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

When we asked Millennials what their biggest goals are right now, their adulting mindsets were more than evident…

Millennials are known for reaching typical adult milestones far later in life than previous generations, and have long been criticized for prioritizing fun over “real” achievements. For years, splashy headlines have claimed that Millennials prefer travel over buying a home (or even paying the bills) and want pets instead of kids. And let’s not forget last year’s viral avocado toast comment, which cast Millennials as irresponsible spenders that choose trendy food over fiscal responsibility. In 2013, Time Magazine notoriously dubbed Millennials the “Me Me Me Generation” and the less-than-flattering terms to describe them—lazy, entitled, selfish, shallow—have followed them into adulthood.

Most of these stereotypes have since been debunked, and to their defense, Millennials entered adulthood at a particularly unstable time. The housing market crashed, jobs were scarce, and Millennials were left over-educated, under-employed, and drowning in debt. Even though the economy has since stabilized, Millennials are still getting the short end of the stick when it comes to cost of living. According to recent data, Millennials make 20% less than Boomers did at the same age, and those with degrees and debt make about the same as Boomers with no degrees did in 1989. Tuition prices have skyrocketed, as have housing prices. All of this adds up to paint a bit of a different picture for Millennials: It’s not that they don’t want the touchstones of adulthood; it’s that many remain just out of reach. But that doesn’t mean Millennials aren’t reaching for them now. In our recent monthly survey on life milestones, we asked 18-35-year-olds to name their biggest personal goal right now,* and they…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

Magazine covers aren’t dying in the age of digital—even when publications go out of print. Digital-only covers are “captur[ing] the print magazine's tangible essence” while building hype for media brands on social media (especially Instagram). PorterComplexNylonGQ and more publications have taken on the trend, featuring celebrities like Chance the Rapper to Sophie Turner. For magazines looking for a comeback with young consumers, digital-only covers can “translate their own brand for the web." (Fashionista)

Following “a series of scandals,” YouTube is taking major steps to overhaul its video review process and ad placement policies. The new guidelines “kick tens of thousands of video makers out” of the ad program by requiring anyone who generates ad revenue to produce 4,000 hours of content and gain 1,000 subscribers in one year, upping the ante from the previous requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. YouTube is also promising to manually review every video in its top tier of advertising (Google Preferred), and they’ve hired 10,000 new employees in the last year to get the job done. (recode)

Some Millennial parents are applying their minimalist tendencies to their kids’ toy chests to battle play clutter with “toy limitation.” It’s not a new concept—some schools of thought that have “advocate[d] simple, open-ended toys” include Montessori, Waldorf, and RIE—and today’s advocates say limiting toys can improve focus and happiness. A report from the University of Toledo concluded that toddlers “played ‘better’” when given fewer toys, meaning they played with each toy for longer and in more creative ways. However, some parents worry that they’re “denying [their children’s] self-expression” when they limit toys, and so the debate continues. (Slate)

Tostitos is giving fans their very own personalized Super Bowl ads to invite friends to their game parties. The platform takes a user's name, address, and other invite info and spins it into a video perfect for Customization Nation. Each ad features a different combination of Super Bowl clichés, including a “talking baby, puppies, sassy older women, [and] a celebrity pitchman.” Considering Ypulse data shows 64% of 13-34-year-olds watched some or all of the 2017 Super Bowl with friends and family, it’s a safe bet at least some will be sending out invites, possibly with some Tostitos product placement this year. (Adweek)

Facebook’s new feature lets Groups co-view each other’s content. “Watch Party” allows Group admins to show any Facebook video to members simultaneously, and to comment on a “dedicated reel” for a “shared viewing experience.” The feature is another step towards the platform’s new goal to “encourage meaningful social interactions,” and their new focus on Groups. The push for social viewing could possibly be integrated into other aspects of Facebook and its properties, like group chats. (TechCrunch)

“I plan to go to a free barre class at a local studio that is offering them as part of a New Year's promotion.”—Female, 33, MA

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