Inside the Millennial Mind: How to Advertise to The Generation That Can’t Stand Ads
Jun 26, 2017

Inside the Millennial Mind: How to Advertise to The Generation That Can’t Stand Ads

Millennials can be a tough group to market to. Traditional advertising is rendered all but completely ineffective on them, and sometimes it feels if advertising on social media isn’t working either. What’s a marketer to do? We’ve got the insight into the Millennial mind that will help you crack the young market.


Why do Millennials hate advertising?


Millennials are the first generation of “digital natives”, meaning they’re the first to grow up with technology and the Internet as a constant in their lives. While many take that to be a good thing (more places for advertisers to reach them), these advances have actually turned Gen-Yers into one of the most critical generations of consumers. This has a lot to do with the amount of information and community available online.


Before the Internet, how would consumers learn about a product? They could ask friends and family who had used the product. But what if no one had? In that case, the only real source of information would be marketing from the company itself. This meant advertisers had a lot more control over how their product was perceived in the public eye.


Nowadays, the game has changed. With the introduction of the web, consumers have access to tons of information about products. Sure, that marketing still exists online, but it’s become muffled by social influencers, customer review sites like Yelp!, and entire communities that are based on reviewing products from certain industries. Millennials  do their research before buying a product. Traditional advertising won’t coerce them, even if you’re meeting them on their home base of social platforms. In fact, 56% of Millennials say they’ve cut back on a social platform or stopped using it entirely due to the never-ending stream of advertisements. Even more compelling is that according to an Elite Daily study, only 1% of Millennials would trust a brand based on a good advertisement.


Inside the Millennial Mind: How to Advertise to The Generation That Can’t Stand AdsSo how do you successfully advertise to Millennials?


The fact that traditional advertising is dying in the eyes of Millennials scares marketers like no other. Don’t fret; take it as a challenge. You can market smarter and focus in on your target audience. You want the Millennial market? Be prepared to get creative. Below, we’ve given you some ideas to get you started on winning over Gen Y once and for all.


1.    Use social influencers.

As we’ve stated, Millennials trust their communities when it comes to product reviews and making the purchasing decision. Influencers are known for their, get this, influence over a certain industry. If you can convince influencers that your product is worth its salt, you by proxy convinced tens of thousands of Millennials. When deciding your contract with your chosen influencer(s), just make sure to keep it authentic. Influencers are required to reveal when a post or video is sponsored, so every other aspect needs to flow and remain in tone with the influencer’s style. Otherwise, it risks coming off as a forced advertisement, inevitably turning off the very consumers you’re after.

2.    Give back.

What does your brand stand for? If you have no idea, you might want to start figuring it out. Millennials are perhaps the most globally-conscious generation we’ve seen. They expect your brand to contribute to making the world a better place. Across the board, 75% of Gen Yers says it’s important for companies to give back. After seeing the greed that took place after the 2008 financial crisis, they expect brands to step up. If you want Millennials on your side, then you’d better be finding a way to make your products and ideas charitable.

3.    Get the consumers involved.

Want to sell a product Millennials will love? Why not let them get involved in the product making process? Through social channels, you have almost endless access to opinions on what your consumers want. Take some of those suggestions to heart and incorporate them into your brand. If they feel like you’re paying attention to them, they’re more willing to engage with you.

4.    Form a community.

Over half of Millennial consumers say they’re more likely to be loyal to a brand that engage with them. They no longer just want to buy a product and be done with it. They want a brand community. GoPro and Hard Rock Café have done an amazing job of including consumers in their community by reposting user-generated content. You need to show consumers there’s more to your brand than just a product. There needs to be a lifestyle, too.

5.    Be authentic.

If you take nothing else from this article, be authentic. Millennials hate ads, not brands. If you come off as overly forced or overly marketed, your company won’t resonate with your younger consumers. They want relatable brands that they know aren’t just pandering to consumers. If you can nail authenticity, the rest will slowly fall into place.


Would you like to learn more about the Millennial mind, or about any other video topic? Reach out to IDR for additional information and answers to all your questions. You’ll discover why we’re Orange County’s top producer of TV commercials, infomercials, and online videos for a wide range of businesses, organizations, and brands.


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