We’re always interested in Millennials’ attitudes and how they view the world around them, so when we learned that WDCW (Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener), an independent advertising agency, conducted a study on the Class of 2012, we were eager to hear their findings. Their study examines high school seniors' outlook on the world they’re entering and their feelings during this transitional time. Their findings reinforce the idea that Millennials are an optimistic generation. They’re excited for what’s ahead — the college experience, continuing to find themselves, and making more friends, and they value experiences knowing that new challenges allow for growth and learning.
We chatted with Clyde McKendrick, Executive Strategy Director at WDCW, who founded Cultural Capital®, an innovation and insight lab with a pioneering approach to measuring cultural relevance for brands, and Sydney Chernish, Strategic Planner, about their Class of 2012 study, what matters to seniors, and what their attitudes and interests mean for brands.
Ypulse: In your study, you discuss prom and how it’s a time to be with your friends. To Millennials, it’s not about how fancy it is or the details, but the experience and celebration of being with their peers. So how do you see this idea — the focus on experiences over consumerism — playing out, and what do brands have to do to stay relevant with this new Millennial mindset?
Clyde McKendrick: Firstly, there’s an idea among consumers about living now. Just as a personal diatribe to that, when I was working at Pepsi, we were working on the refresh project at the time, and I kept saying that we need to focus on “living now,” which is the brand's current campaign.
One of the insights of our study is that social media has had a transformative effect on people’s lives.…