The Safety Zone Generation

Playing It Safe: Gen Ys and the Caution Effect

The statement that Gen Ys grew up coddled and protected has been used so much by generational experts that it almost feels cliché saying it. But the less-discussed flip side to this over-protection incubation is that Millennials were raised in an environment of high anxiety that taught them from a very early age that there is always something around the corner that could hurt you or go wrong. After all, there was a reason that you couldn’t walk down the street to school by yourself; stranger danger was everywhere. They could very well be called Generation Amber Alert. Add to this early-age hyper-awareness of personal danger the fact that the media they have been surrounded by has essentially been a non-stop loop of terror and highly dramatized fear-mongering-for-ratings and it is understandable that Millennials tend to be an anxious bunch.

Then, when this group of high-risk guarded youth were just starting out on their own, the recession hit and they watched friends and family who had bet big on houses, stocks, and high-stakes careers lose everything. Put all together, you have the perfect equation for a generation with a healthy fear of risk taking. Today, this risk-averse mentality affects how they are living their lives in a major way, from delaying major life decisions to approaching their futures with extreme caution.

Never a generation of rebels (why break the rules when you’re friends with your parents and could break any law you wanted in video games), Millennials today are moving forward in their lives with extreme caution. This general fear of taking big leaps could help explain the fairly drastically delayed ages at which Millennials are choosing to get married and have children when compared to other generations. In some…


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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "I do not want any of the candidates currently in the running to win the election.”—Male, 22, FL

Snapchat clone Snow is continuing to pull in massive numbers. In a little over a year, the app which lets users add effects, stickers, and filters to their selfies, share their images and videos in a “Story,” and send self-destructing messages, has over 80 million downloads—in comparison, Snapchat had about 10 million downloads in a year after launching. Despite the majority of downloads stemming from Asia—particularly in China where Snapchat is banned—brands like Burger King and Nescafe are jumping on the platform by introducing stickers that can be used on the app globally. (Digiday)

The credit card that has gone viral with young consumers has launched their first marketing campaign. “Reserve What’s Next” is a video series for Chase Sapphire Reserve, featuring James Corden interviewing “innovators in the restaurant, transportation, and lodging fields.” It is aimed “at travelers interested in what’s next in travel,” which describes experience-hungry Millennials. The president of Ypulse, Dan Coates, says the behind-the-scenes approach of the new ads will especially appeal to young consumers, because they “love to geek out over things, digging into the process behind the product.” (The New York Times

They may be digitally-savvy, but Millennials are falling for tech scams more often than you think. A global survey from Microsoft and the National Cyber Security Alliance, found that two in three consumers have experienced a tech support scam in the past year, and 50% of 18-34-year-olds reported to have “continued with a fraudulent interaction.” Pop-ups, unsolicited email, and scam websites have given “an edge” to scammers, who are using them to trick even the “savviest members” of the generation. (Fox News

Nature is often the backdrop for ads targeting Millennials, but many times its intention often misses the mark. The “Millennials-gone-wild” trend in advertising is evoking a sense of freedom for young consumers and allows them to be “more in touch with things that are real, things that are natural as a counter effect to all the digital they have around them.” However, brands need to stay aware of over-saturation, particularly within the apparel industry where the imagery has become stylized and less authentic. (MarketWatch

Dole Food Co. is joining forces with Disney to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies. To fulfill their shared mission of “providing high quality produce to help families lead healthier lives," Dole and Walt Disney Co. have produced a new line of produce branded with Disney characters that will be sold starting next month. The strategy is in line with the food industry’s shift in marketing to focus on parents when selling kids’ products by emphasizing 'health-related benefits,' and adding 'all natural' and 'no sugar' labels. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day: “The issue I most care about during this presidential election is how we are going to resolve this massive student loan problem.”—Male, 23, PA

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