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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my cousins' annoying kids running in front of the TV.” –Male, 30, MA

Watch your back Instagram. Flipagram’s rise, and its partnership with music labels, could make it the next big sharing platform to watch. The app reached 30 million monthly users after one year, hitting the milestone faster than Facebook and Snapchat before it. Because music can be added to the 30-second photo videos users make, it has set itself apart from competitors Vine and Instagram, and the number of flips made on the platform rose 165% in the last year. (Forbes)

The final film of The Hunger Games franchise is in theatres, ending a wildly successful run at the box office. The movies weren’t considered a sure thing, but became a “runaway smash” because they perfectly matched Millennials’ mindset, becoming “an all-purpose metaphor for life as a young person in the post-recession era.” The theory is that because books debuted just as the recession was beginning, the dark tone and cutthroat storyline aligned with their experiences. (We happen to agree.) (Vox

Millennials continue to think more positively about technology than other generations. According to a 2015 poll, Millennials are more likely than Xers and Boomers to think tech helps them to learn new skills, has a positive impact on their relationships with friends, and allows them to live life the way they want. More than half of Millennials believe that technology positively effects their happiness, compared to 42% of Xers, and 30% of Boomers. (MediaPost)

Millennials might be less traditionally religious than older generations, but they are just as spiritual. While fewer Millennials say religion is very important, attend weekly religious services, or pray every day than Xers, Boomers, and Silents, they are equally likely to think about the meaning and purpose of life, and feel a sense of gratitude or thankfulness each week. (Pew Research)

Advertisements on YouTube Kids are getting the app into some trouble. Ads for junk food regularly appear on the platform “in the form of funny contests and animated stories,” and two complaints have been filed calling for an investigation of food marketers, videos programmers, and Google. The complaints argue that food companies have not lived up to their promises to keep junk food marketing off the app. (NYTimes)

Quote of the Day: "It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my brother suggesting we don't celebrate and just order pizza.” -Male, 15, GA

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