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How Millennials Are Disrupting Advertising


Millennials not only make up a great portion of the working world. They also make up a huge portion of the population to which advertisements are geared. Yet, for those Millennials who not only work in advertising but absorb advertisements through the media as well, they are at the professional intersection of understanding how to make the experience better for everyone involved. Here is how this generation is disrupting the business of advertising.

1. They want to make a difference

Empty promises are no longer enough. Millennials are tech-savvy and can spot patronizing fallacies from a mile away within advertising. Millennials want more. They want action. They want to know that they’re contributing to and supporting brands that are actually doing good in the world. Millennials care about working conditions and environmental practices more than their parents and the generations preceding them.

Because of this, advertisers need to now have a different goal. They’re no longer simply promoting what the brand has to offer in terms of products. Instead, brands need to promote their philanthropic causes and their values.

Cause Marketing is on the rise now more than ever because Millennials have created the demand for real change in the world. It is no longer enough for brands to state their ideas to the world. Instead, they need to actually walk the walk. Millennials have created the standard that brands have a social responsibility to maintain ethical and sustainable practices in order to earn their business.

2. They Expect a Relationship

Millennials want more than just a one-time thank you email from a company after making a purchase. They don’t care about newsletters and the traditional forms of personal marketing. They expect companies to actually remember them and make them feel valued.

This generation wants the company to truly care about them as individuals, meaning they expect the online experience to be personalized and catered to them. Advertising campaigns that actually involve the consumers, such as contests, submissions, etc. truly make a difference in creating a sense of interest in the Millennial audience.

3. They Are Doing the Advertising

Word-of-Mouth marketing is the ideal among the Millennials. They don’t want to hear from the brand about the benefits they offer. Again, the patronizing language is obvious to them. They see right through it. Instead, they appreciate authenticity. They want to hear from their friends, their family, and people they know and respect, that the brand and/or product is actually worth buying.

Millennials, if they like a brand or a product, actually want to post about it. They want to post and show off whatever their purchase was because social media status is their currency. Essentially, Millennials have made it cool and trendy to do the work for the brand. By posting, their free advertising is more effective than any brand could’ve done on its own.

4. They Demand Transparency

In a world of Cancel Culture, no one can get away with anything scot-free anymore. Consumers can access any information about any company or brand with a simple Google search, and they can dispense any findings to the entire world with just one simple Tweet.

Today, advertisers have to be honest and transparent, because if they aren’t, Millennials will not hesitate to publicly call them out and denounce them to the world. Millennials are too tech-savvy to fall for any phony marketing; they want it all laid out on the table.

With this expectation of transparency comes an expectation of authenticity as well. Millennials appreciate the real-life testimonials from past customers much more than any staged commercial or interview about a brand. They want something real; they’re sick of past, traditional advertising because of its fakeness. They want to listen to actual people, not actors or celebrities, that look and live as they do. This motivates where and who they buy from.

Final Thoughts

Past generations talked a lot about the changes Millennials would bring to the world, both good and bad. Yet, changes in the advertising industry were not one of them. Through demanding transparency, authenticity, and impact, Millennials keep moving the conversation and circulation of what is bought and sold unlike any other previous generation has seen.

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