Millennials, Generation Y, or young adults.
Whatever the label, people roughly born between the years 1980 to 2000 are now said to be the most valuable demographic of all.
The question is – if millennials are the market to target, how exactly should brands be talking to them?
(Top tip: definitely not by shoe-horning in some slang.)
From daily vlogs to daredevil stunts, and with such a wealth of content marketing possibilities, let’s take a look at the brands who have best captured the millennial’s (increasingly short-spanning) attention.
1. Airbnb – Creating content with substance
Millennials aren’t interested in the hard sell. Young adults crave content that has an inherent purpose, other than being a vehicle for the product itself.
Whether it’s a viral video, an infographic or just a great story, content must be able to entertain or inform. Or in an ideal world, both.
Research has shown that capturing a specific mood or moment is particularly effective when marketing to young people. With an emphasis on adventure, exploration, and self-discovery, Airbnb has captured the millennial’s desire for travel.
The community feel and Instagram-inspired content of its blog helps to align the brand with those who are no longer satisfied with just a gap year.
That being said, it is the company’s success with young people that has also helped increase its popularity with older generations.
2. Dominos – Utilising new platforms
Most millennials use Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. As a result, more and more brands are realising that they’ve no choice but to use them too.
If done right, tons of consumers will happily pin, retweet and Like otherwise stagnant content into a viral tailspin, making social media not just the obvious choice, but the most valuable one for any campaign.
A brand that has recently utilised the potential of Snapchat, the hottest platform of the moment, is Dominos.
Though it has always made excellent use of social media, the brand recently took the plunge and made its Snapchat debut with a short film, ‘Dough to Door’.
Similarly, its latest campaign uses bespoke face swaps to display the unbeatable feeling of joy when the delivery man rings the doorbell. What millennial could fail to relate to that?
— Domino’s Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) April 30, 2016
3. Nike – Promoting experiences
Millennials are all about memorable experiences – they are on a constant quest for the next big thing to eat, drink, shop, do, think or feel.
From travel experiences to sporting ones, big brands are beginning to capture this need with an all-round epic customer journey.
Known for its motivational messaging, Nike is a brand that sells the experience of exercise as much as the product itself. With 45.3m followers, its Instagram page demonstrates the sheer power of inspirational photo.
Recently, Nike has also delved into the (largely untapped) world of long-form advertising in the form of a mini-series targeted at female millennials.
Margot and Lily – based on the competitive nature of two sisters – conveniently ties into the brand’s ‘Better for It’ campaign.
4. Carlsberg – Being relatable
As soon as there is a label for a particular age group, it’s far too easy to over-generalise.
It’s vital to remember that millennials – whilst all born as part of the same generation – can have wildly different experiences, perspectives and opinions.
Consequently, any good marketing campaign has to go deeper than what’s ‘cool’.
What kind of person are you targeting? Where are they from and what is important to them? Social groups and life stages all play a vital part in how the audience will respond and engage.
A brand that knows its audience well but is still willing to move away from a certain stereotype is Carlsberg. With humour at the core of all its advertising, it has found recent success with reactive content.
Jumping on the furore caused by the ‘Are You Beach Body Ready’ campaign, it cleverly placed ads asking commuters if they were ‘Beer Body Ready’.
The combination of timely relevance and relatable humour made it one of the most inspired campaigns of the past few years.
— Carlsberg UK (@CarlsbergUK) April 29, 2015