Recent Lessons In Marketing to Millennials

Here at Ypulse, we understand the complexities of marketing to Millennials, and are constantly on the lookout for brands who are getting it right. Here are some recent lessons in marketing to Millennials from campaigns that both resonated and fell flat with the generation.  

 

 

 

 

 

1. Bloomberg Businessweek “Gets You Ahead”

Businessweek pokes fun at Millennials living with their parents.

Recently Bloomberg Businessweek embarked on a campaign to get younger subscribers by targeting the almost 23 million 18-34-year-olds living at home with their parents, and encouraging those parents to tell them to get the hell out. Siblings, significant others, friends and other relatives are also invited to participate in the campaign to shame childhood home-dwelling Gen Ys. One of the “colorful” ecards available to send contains the message, “You’re a drain on this economy, sweetie pie.” Another tells the young recipient, “We’re not ashamed of you, but we’re getting there.” The problem with the campaign is twofold. First, it plays on a stereotype of Millennials as lazy and free-riding without considering the reality that they are struggling to find jobs and might just be working hard to try to work towards standing on their own two feet. We often tell brands that they need to understand how Millennials see themselves in order to speak to them authentically. They do not see themselves as “house barnacles” when they are sending out resumes by the hundred, and impending student loan payments are keeping them up at night. The second misstep here is the assumption that Millennials’ parents resent their presence. As our own Jake Katz told Adweek, “Where they missed the mark is pitching it as, you guys are annoying mom and dad by being at home. That's not the case. Mom and dad are not…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A wedding trend I’ve noticed recently is guests not dressing formally to the reception/wedding, more come as you are attitude.”—Female, 24, MI

This week, Mattel introduced an American Boy doll, their first male offering in the company’s 31-year history. New doll Logan Everett is part of a pair of singer-songwriters from Nashville who come with music-inspired accessories. The company reports that customers have been asking for a male doll for some time, and Mattel’s continuing strategy to diversify their offerings helped increase sales by 4% last year. (KidscreenNYTimes

Kids in Australia are spending more time online than watching TV. Research firm Roy Morgan reports that in 2016 six-13-year-olds spent an average of 12 hours a week online compared to 10.5 hours spent in front of the TV, the first time internet surpassed TV since the survey began in 2008. Online time has also almost doubled in the last eight years. The firm says, "The idea that TV is boring no matter what is on is just because TV is so static and it might have ads on it." (ABC

The current state of the White House has ignited Gen Z’s interest in politics—according to AwesomenessTV’s CEO, Brian Robbins. He reports that his own children’s newfound fascination with politics sparked by the recent election has inspired him to bring more political content to AwesomenessTV. Because “[a]n audience that really wasn't that interested is now really interested," the company will move away from “fluffy, horrible” entertainment news into political news, which could be in the form of documentaries, or scripted shows. (Business Insider)

Millennials are reporting higher rates of depression than any other generation, creating challenges at work. To avoid the stigma surrounding mental issues, young employees are increasingly resorting to using personal days to recuperate from anxiety, depression, and other afflictions. According to one expert, “this generation is not necessarily more depressed than workers of past generations, but more equipped to recognize it”—however, they fear judgement from their employers. (MarketWatch)  

Is Snap Inc. really a camera company? They say they are, and in their IPO filing the brand wrote, “In the way that the flashing cursor became the starting point for most products on desktop computers, we believe that the camera screen will be the starting point for most products on smartphones.” WeChat’s ability to read QR codes, Pinterest’s new visual search, and Facebook Messengers’ new visual capabilities all point to expanding capabilities of a camera—and the fact that “users’ experience of the world is increasingly mediated through cameras.” (The New Yorker)  

Quote of the Day: “I have a diamond wedding ring but any stone would be beautiful and appreciated.”—Female, 24, MN

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