Embrace
Differences

7 reasons advertisers should embrace millennials' differences to totally get them

Millennials are different from other generations

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Traditional symbols of adulthood, like owning a house or finding a spouse, are becoming less achievable and less important. Millennials are all 'YOLO' and 'Oh hell no' - they're acting differently to older generations, so brands shouldn't try to talk to them in the same way.

and different from each other, too

"Career is the pre-requisite. I need that before the mortgage and I won't have a child until I've got the mortgage."
"I have no idea about the future. I kind of live one week to the next. Plans didn't happen so I just live in the present"
Some millennials are saving while others are spending; some are settling down while others are enjoying the single life; some are focussing on climbing the career ladder while others are starting their own business. Basically, they're all over the place.

A lot can change in 16 years

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years difference from the oldest to the youngest
There's a huge age difference between the oldest and the youngest millennials; the young tings have only just become adults, while the old'uns were already coming of age when they were born.

Nobody understands, man!

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million millennials feel advertisers don't understand them
Millennials feel like advertisers just don't get them. Which is kind of weird, as there are a disproportionate number of millennials working in advertising and media. Maybe we media folk aren't that good at looking at ourselves.

but they want to be understood

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like online ads that target them based on the sort of person they think they are
Millennials are impressed by technology and like the fact that advertisers use it to target them with relevant ads. If you get it right, they love it - but get it wrong and they're irritated by it. And trust us, you don't want to cross a millennial.

And they love a good chat

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welcome advertisers sponsoring content
This lot are pretty happy as long as you're talking to them about the things that they're passionate about in ways that interest them. Make sure there's some sort of link to your brand, though - millennials are smarter than we give them credit for and can spot a tenuous link a mile off.

It's all about them

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want to be able to personalise products
Let’s be honest: millennials are a pretty self-absorbed bunch. If you can't tailor a campaign, consider allowing them to personalise it themselves.

Nurture
Success

10 reasons brands should help millennials be #winning

‘Digital natives’ isn’t just a cliché

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feel tech helps to increase or maintain high status at work
Growing up surrounded by technology has empowered millennials in the workplace and disrupted the usual hierarchies.

Lots of millennials aim high

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feel they have advanced further in life than they expected
Most of them are happy with where they’ve got to in life and many exceed their own expectations. This is an easy win for brands that have the products and rewards to help millennials celebrate their achievements.

But some are shooting low

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feel they haven’t achieved as much as they thought they would have
Many millennials just aren’t turning out to be the ballers they thought they’d be, so they’re having to redefine success. Brands need to recognise these other successes, too, so as not to alienate this audience.

They just cannot make it rain

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feel the money they’re earning is improving their standard of living
The money millennials make isn’t enough to fund the lifestyles they crave. In fact, they’re seeing pay freezes and increases in costs of living. Don’t get us wrong; they’re still having a good time - but they’re certainly not getting everything they want. Oers, deals and rewards as well as money saving products and tips can tap into this.

And they’re kind of freaking out

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are worried about not getting on in life
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feel optimistic about their future
but not totally. The balance of worry and positivity helps drive them; their future is both a source of anxiety and motivation to succeed. Brands that tap into these emotions will resonate well with millennials.

They’ve basically all got degrees

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The good news is that loads of millennials have degrees. The bad news is that loads of millennials have degrees. As a result, their value in the job market has decreased – millennials leave uni and realise there are loads of others just like them fighting for the same roles.

School’s out, but they still want to learn

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like advertisers helping them to learn new skills
Many millennials were brought up with ‘helicopter parents’ hovering over them, so it’s no surprise that, even as adults, they want help – and they’re happy for brands to help them learn, be it coding, cooking or canoeing.

They get stuck in

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of younger millennials think an apprenticeship is a good alternative to uni
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have done unpaid work to gain experience
Because they have to. Employers want to see real experience and millennials will do anything to get it. Lots of them have experience in a range of companies before they even get their first proper job.

And some experience is extra-curric

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actively interested in brands asking them to use their creativity to add to a campaign
Many millennials are happy to get creative for brands because it’ll help them build their CV and potentially get experience for their first job or a change in career.

Success isn’t just about climbing the career ladder

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would turn down a promotion for a better work-life balance
Brands can help millennials celebrate their non-work success and also offer them the lifestyles that would tempt them away from conventional ‘success’ in the workplace.

Sell
Lifestyles

7 reasons we should sell lifestyles not stuff to encourage millennials to make purchases

FOMO sends them to uni

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Higher education is no longer about… well, education. Yes, millennials still value getting a degree, but they also see uni as an opportunity for new experiences – and they’re willing to pay a lot to take part.

They’re travellers, not tourists

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more likely than average to have just had a gap year, or are planning one
Millennials immerse themselves by speaking the language, eating the food and hanging out with the locals. It’s all part of trying to fit in. Brands can give them the information they need to avoid being a tourist, whether in a foreign country or in their social scene.

YOLO motivates them

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prioritise living life to the full
Millennials crave experiences, from small everyday events to once-in-a-lifetime adventures – and they’re delaying ‘adulting’ to get the most from them. I mean, why would you save up for ‘a few bricks’ when you could be having fun?

A good time is a good time

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welcome events sponsored or organised by brands
…no matter who provides it. Millennials are happy for experiences to come from a brand as long as the event – not the product – is the focus and the brand fit makes sense.

Pics or it didn’t happen

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Whether it’s their avo-toast, their wild night out, or their yoga retreat, millennials’ experiences are recorded, filtered and shared on social media. It’s almost as if the experience isn’t worth having if there isn’t a good photo of it – and brands will be shared if they’re part of this experience.

They buy into lifestyles

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feel social media makes them spend money because they see things they’d like to do or buy
Social media shows millennials the lives they wish they were leading and they will spend spend spend to live (or look like they’re living) them. Products can be symbols of lifestyles that they can show off to the world.

But they don’t like a hard sell

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dislike advertising that is obviously trying to sell something
This is a tech-savvy, media-savvy generation – and they’re wise to advertising. Millennials would rather purchase something that will give them a certain image, or buy into a lifestyle rather than just a product.

Ease
Pressure

7 reasons we should help millennials manage the pressures of perfection (and how we can do it)

Millennials are hella competitive

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feel competitive towards friends
Millennials judge their success against their peers' progress and want to do better than them. Social media is the platform of choice for millennials when it comes to humble bragging, not-so-humble bragging and - of course - stalking.

They can't leave social media alone

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spend a lot of their leisure time using social media
This generation is all about the FOMO. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – you name it; they’re constantly on social media, using it to build their personal brands and portray their lives in the best possible light.

There's such a thing as 'prime Insta-time'

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are obsessedwith getting likes and shares
Yes, not only are they spending hours perfecting their selfie pouts and applying filters, but some millennials have actually worked out what time of day their posts get most love on social media (5-8pm, FYI). They’ll do anything for love!
On Instagram, I’m a reputation-conscious monster

Millennials have to look on fleek

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feel social media makes them spend to look good to others
Products are a great way for them to do this. For admiration-hungry millennials, seeing products online can be motivational, or even act as proof of achievement when shared on social media.

IT'S A MAD BAD WORLD OUT THERE

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have shared a picture to get advice on something they might buy
Millennials need help making sense of it. Many are unsure of themselves and although they sometimes ask for advice on social media, they also don’t want to show weakness. Enter: brands that can give them the tools, support and encouragement to achieve the perfection they crave.

THE PRESSURE OF PERFECT IS HUGE

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Millennials – especially the younger ones – are anxiety-riddled; more likely than previous generations to aim for absolute physical perfection, but less likely to think they’ve achieved it. Thanks for nothing, Kylie Jenner.

Social media basically makes the pressure worse

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think social media makes them feel like they’re underachieving
It’s not going away anytime soon, so brands need to help millennials manage the pressure it brings. They can do this by helping them celebrate their imperfections, or even encouraging time away from social media.

KEEP IT
REAL

6 ways advertisers can ‘keep it 100’ with millennials

Millennials are way harsh

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describe themselves as harsh critics of advertising
Millennials see a LOT of advertising. OK, they’re not sitting on the sofa watching TV like people did in days of yore but they get ads delivered straight to them wherever they are. The volume they see and the number of poor quality online ads, in particular, has made them cynical.

But they’ve got a soft spot for good advertising

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of them are harsh critics because they enjoy good advertising
As far as millennials are concerned, the good ads are the ones that make an effort to connect with them. They want to see good ads and are willing brands to make them, a bit like they’re willing Kanye West to get the help he needs. #prayforKanye

The hard sell just won’t cut it

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dislike ads obviously trying to sell something
Time was, advertisers could shove a product under a consumer’s nose and hope for the best. But millennials are a different matter; they don’t respond well to a hard sell and would rather buy into a lifestyle or make a purchase that gives them a certain image.

Millennials like to fit in

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feel advertising works better if it fits its environment
...and they think you should, too. They want advertisers to adapt the message and the tone to fit the particular platform or the particular media owner’s style – and they can spot when ads don’t do this.

SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE (IF YOU CAN KEEP UP)

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welcome brands sponsoring content and events
No, we’re not talking about actually adding the word ‘sick’ to the end of everything, or communicating solely in emojis. Talk to them about the things they find interesting in ways they find interesting but make sure there is a brand fit. They’re not going to want a toilet roll brand talking about fun nights out.

it’s no good just paying things lip service

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like seeing advertisers supporting charities
Social media shows millennials the lives they wish they were leading and they will spend spend spend to live (or look like they’re living) them. Products can be symbols of lifestyles that they can show off to the world.

Be
inspiring

7 ways millennials are ready to be inspired by brands

They’re spoilt for choice – and they know it

genuinely enjoy online research
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Millennials love doing research as part of the shopping process. They spend hours on their phones and laptops looking for better and cheaper alternatives. There’s never been so much choice and it makes getting stuff all the more enjoyable.

In fact, ‘research and chill’ could be the new ‘Netflix and chill’

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often research potential purchases in their downtime
When you see millennials’ faces light up with joy (and not just the backlight from their device), they’re not necessarily sending naughty pictures…. often they’re actually spending their free time researching stuff they want to buy. What a bunch of geeks!

But don’t get cocky

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often use filters on retail sites so they only see brands they like
They’re not necessarily researching you. It’s not enough for brands to be present in the places where millennials are actively doing their research, because it may be too late. Brands need to give these guys a reason to include them in their search.

Impulse buys are so over

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often do lots of online research before making an ‘impulse purchase’
Millennials engross themselves so deeply in their interests, even before they’ve decided to make a purchase, that when something triggers them to take the plunge, they’re fully aware of what they’re doing

And sometimes they’re #justlooking

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often do online research just to see what’s out there
Often, millennials don’t even know what they’re looking for. They need inspiration to help them make their next purchase and brands can help inspire them by selling lifestyles instead of just boring old products.

They don’t need your vital statisticS

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Not in your adverts, anyway. They’ll find out about the product specs themselves, so don’t need to see it in ads. Instead they want to be inspired to find out more.

But at the end of the day, brands still call the shots

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Although they may feel they’re making deliberate and objective decisions after weighing up all the pros and cons of a product, it’s actually the brand that pulls the strings. Millennials are extremely image-conscious and want to buy the brands that will make themlook good.

Give - Don't
just take

8 reasons millennials need brands to give as well as take

Millennials like brands

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follow a brand or company on social media
You know your brand’s followers on social media? Lots of them are millennials. They’re pretty comfortable with brands being in their social space, so they happily follow and interact with the ones they enjoy. Just be careful not to spam them, or they’ll kick you out.

not just for show, either

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have contacted a company to praise its product/service
A lot of what being a millennial is about is keeping up appearances, but not this. They actively like brands and genuinely want to hear from them, whether it’s offers, competitions or keeping them up to date with what’s going on.

They love to experience stuff

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welcome brands organising or sponsoring events
It’s not about just doing stuff; but about having experiences. They don’t just go to the cinema; they go to an immersive cinema experience because they want to take part and not just be an onlooker. As long as they’re good experiences, millennials are happy for them to come from brands.

They’re a sharing bunch

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like being encouraged to share pictures etc. for brands
but not in the traditional sense. Millennials will share anything on social media that makes them look attractive, cool, successful or happy... and it could be your brand or product that makes them appear that way.

They’re happy to help

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actively like to help brands with New Product Development
Millennials want the products and services that suit them and they’re happy to help you create them. Even if you don’t ask, they’ll probably give you their views on social media (good or bad) once the product is launched so better to get in early.

And they’d like a helping hand, too

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welcome brands teaching them new skills
Millennials love to keep learning and bettering themselves because it helps them to keep their options open and get one up on their mates. If brands know stuff that can help them on their journey (and can provide it to them for free), all the better.

There’s something in it for them

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actively like opportunities to use their creativity for a campaign
They’re not just giving you free labour; they’re creating a portfolio, adding to their CV and making themselves more employable.

And something in it for others, hopefully

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like brands supporting charities in ways beyond just donating a % of profit
Millennials don’t just think you should give back to them; they also want you to support charitable causes. But don’t think you can just get away with giving 10 per cent of your profits – they want to see you really care.

Don't
Irritate

7 reasons brands need to try not to piss millennials off

They hate bad ads

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say they are harsh critics of advertising as bad ads offend them
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Don't we all?

Actually, some hate all ads

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say that they are a harsh critic because they dislike all advertising
OK, millennials love a bit of drama, so it could be an exaggeration to say they hate all advertising but, well, what if they did? Even if it's not true, take it as a warning.

And they can be very public about it

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have used social media to criticise advertising
Millennials pride themselves on the number of friends and followers they've got and add even the vaguest of acquaintances into their social media circles. So if they're slagging your ad off, lots of people are going to hear about it.

They don't just block their exes

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claim to use some sort of ad blocking software
Most millennials are using ad-blockers - even if it is mostly for pop-ups and not run-of-site display. Ads disrupt their journey, slow down their internet and show them the same stuff over and over and they don't like it one bit!

It's not personal, but they're avoiding you

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say they skip pre-roll ads
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pre-record TV so they can skip the ads
That's, like, almost all of them. And it's so disappointing because they just love whiling away the hours watching online video, so it should be a great opportunity for brands. It is. Just give them something that they won't want to skip!

Don't be 'that guy'

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"There are some brands that are like the boring person at the party, only talking about themselves. But, these are the brands that are struggling"
Millennials hate it when brands have nothing interesting to say. They want to know that you're interested in them and that you know how to talk to them.

They think it's all your fault

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"What is important to understand is that cynicism is not ingrained in us, it comes from marketing laziness."
Millennials blame their cynicism about adverts on the advertisers themselves. They can spot a lazy ad a mile away and don't want to get any closer.

impress and
entertain

8 reasons to wow millennials

Millennials like adverts

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like advertising
but only the good ones. Millennials think good ads are those that make an effort to connect with them and do so in an authentic way – and they hate a hard sell.

There are no ads on Netflix and chill

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are watching less TV than a few years ago
TV ads are traditionally where advertisers make a huge impact, but millennials engage with TV less than older generations and it’s getting worse all the time. They pre-record TV and fast forward through the ad breaks – and many choose not to bother with a TV set when they move out of home.

They’ve got FOMO

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of those who use ad blockers feel they could be missing something
even when it comes to adverts. What if they’re missing some great deal, or some hilarious or inspiring ad that everyone’s talking about, or an ad for something they are interested in? PANIC. They know those ads are out there, but don’t want to have to plough through the others to find them.

It’s about the cut of your jib

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don’t skip video ads if they’re relevant
Whether it’s because they like the brand, are in the market for the product, the brand has something new to say or it’s saying it in an interesting way, millennials are prepared to listen if they like what they hear.

They want you to play hard to get

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Millennials appreciate brands that don’t get all up in their grill. They want to be flirted with and allured, rather than being shown everything on a plate.

Basically, they’re super high maintenance

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really like ads that make a real effort to engage them
But at least they know it. Millennials realise they can be difficult to please, so they really appreciate it when advertisers have made an effort to understand them and impress them.

This is the Eat, Love, Pray generation

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Brands can inspire millennials by making them feel good on the inside as well as looking good on the outside with products and campaigns. #soulonfleek

And they love to LOL

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say humour stops them skipping a pre-roll ad
Funny ads are one of the types that millennials won’t skip over. Not only that, but they will also pay attention to, talk about, share and return to over and over again. Brands will be LOLing all the way to the bank.