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

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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