When It Comes To Serious Topics: How To Get Inside A Milennial’s Head

Today's post comes from Ypulse Research Manager, Nicole Tarantino. 


Every Peerent’s nightmare – sitting their Millennial down to talk about ‘serious topics'. When attempting to reach this always connected, know it all generation – especially as a brand or authority, there’s a few time-and-again proven ways to go about it. 

Catch their attention with shock value. 

Millennials have ten thousand things pulling their focus in opposite directions, all at the same time, so when and if you can catch their attention, it would be a shame to miss the window of opportunity. Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and advocacy groups have been using the shock value of gruesome, attention-grabbing clips to force Millennials to realize the reality of the subject for years – and it still works. 

PSFK recently showcased a new PSA by charity, End7, that generates awareness about topical diseases. The PSA showed celebrities reacting to videos of those effected by tropical diseases. Afterwards, the PSA ad showed the audience what each celebrity watched. This PSA gained much attention by forcing those who would usually ignore these topics to face their reality.

One PSA I know I’ll never forget (as I’d bet most others in my generation won’t either) was when Rachael Leigh Cook showed us our brain, then showed us our brain on drugs using a frying pan and an egg as an analogy. She then went on to smash the whole kitchen to show viewers how drugs affect every aspect of life.  Even though this aired in 1998, this was the first PSA that came to mind when I started to think about this form of advertising. 

Shock value PSAs are proving are highly mobile, even across borders. Even though these three were meant for UK audiences, the following ads were so…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Supernatural is a guilty pleasure show.  While it isn't very consistent in terms of plotline, it’s a fun show with a lovable cast, and it’s ludicrous story keeps you wondering what is next.”—Female, 26, GA

Millennial women are taking over proposing, and looking up ways to pop the question. On Pinterest, “women propose to men ideas” is being searched more than ever, with popularity of the term rising 336% year-over-year. And women aren’t just getting down on one knee to propose to men: the term with the greatest growth from 2017 is “unique lesbian proposals,” which saw a 1,352% rise. Pinterest also found that emerald engagement rings are trending, demonstrating Millennials’ growing interest in non-diamond options. (The Cut)

Dave & Buster’s is positioned to win over experience-loving Millennials. Despite disappointing earnings of late, investors are buying up the experiential restaurant’s stock during its dip because (as one analyst explains) they “believe [Dave & Buster's] can outperform other full-service concepts and drive multiple expansion as it proves itself as a differentiated growth concept.”  Our Experiencification trend backs up their bet, finding that 74% of Gen Z & Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than products. (TheStreet)

Airlines made for Millennials are failing. Air France is thinking about shuttering Joon, their trendy airline, just one year after it took flight. As it turns out, Generation Wanderlust values one thing above amenities like stylish steward outfits and smart tech: value itself. The airlines that are seeing success are budget-friendly first and foremost, like Norwegian Air. ICF Aviation’s SVP sums it up, “What does a [M]illennial want in an airline? A low fare and a good schedule…They don’t want more purple lighting.” (Vox)

Fortnite isn’t just “the most important game of 2018"—it’s “a cultural tsunami.” Nearly 80 million people played the battle royale-style game that’s taking over the internet this year, and over 65% of Fortnite’s players are under-24-years-old. If that’s not enough evidence that brands should cashing in on the craze, celebrities like Drake are playing the game and sports stars like Antoine Griezmann are doing Fortnite’s signature emote dances on the field. (CNET)

Media companies could be under-estimating Nickelodeon’s young fandom. Nielsen reports that two-11-year-olds spent 23 hours each week watching TV in the second quarter of 2018, with almost 15 of those hours taken up by live TV or DVR-recorded content. While Nickelodeon ratings may be down, they’re still the leader of kids’ networks, accounting for 67% of all ad-supported kids’ TV viewing. However, 74% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse that their children watch more content on streaming services than cable. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

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