3x more millennials are watching TV compared to YouTube.
Millennials. It seems every business, journalist and pundit is trying to figure out this up-and-coming generation. Research abounds on their attitudes and preferences for work, play, family and home. One of the most common observations is the innate fluency these 18-to-34-year-olds have with technology.
However, this influential generation isn’t as digital as you might think. In fact:
Those are just two of the intriguing findings in recent advertising studies. They got us thinking about other generational stereotypes—exactly the kind of misperceptions that can derail a brand in the market.
Every generation defies expectations
Whether you’re 25, 45 or 65, no one wants to be pigeonholed into a one-size-fits-all description. That’s one of the inherent dangers of sweeping assumptions about generations.
Millennials often get a bad rap as lazy or entitled, expecting brands and employers to conform to their expectations. The media characterize Generation Xers, born between 1965 and 1980, as apathetic, cynical and disengaged − the classic rebels and slackers. Meanwhile, baby boomers are universally praised for their optimism, work ethic and cooperative spirit.
In fact, nuances exist within all age groups. Yes, millennials value diversity, inclusivity and meaningful work—but older adults also take pride in those tenets. Millennials are no more likely to job hop than employees in 1983, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.
Likewise, technology adoption spans age ranges. Smart phones are just as essential for adults 55 and older as they are for millennials, with both groups showing similar patterns for frequency of usage. Older Americans also use smart watches more than any other demographic.
Three characteristics that unite generations
The takeaway for marketers? Use generational insights appropriately. Consider these similarities that can inform stronger and more effective broadcast campaigns:
In the end, winning campaigns will incorporate the broad outlines of any demographic and use those insights to guide your message and media. But, truly engaging, emotionally driven content will never fit inside a tightly drawn box. Don’t limit your options—and your ultimate results—with narrow, stereotypical observations.
Appeal to any age. For creative that breaks through the clutter and bridges the generational divide, turn to Marketing Architects. Contact us to discuss your next campaign.
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1 comScore MediaMetrix multiplatform, May 2017
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