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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies