Phd Consumer Insight Plans Book


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PHD USA, an Omnicom Group agency, hosted a six-month fellowship to provide 7 students at UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with multidisciplinary marketing communications experiences that focuses on the growing convergence between public relations, marketing and advertising and its affect on the Millennial generation. This report includes the compilation of insights that we uncovered through online surveys, in-depth interviews and focus groups.

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Phd Consumer Insight Plans Book

  2. 2. The PHD WorldWide-Grady Creative Collective, now in its second year, is acollaborative research project that challenges a team of graduating advertisingstudents at the University of Georgia to build consumer insights on Millennials.As Millennials replace Baby Boomers and become the largest consumer generationin history, marketers are trying to keep up with the language and habits of the“digital native.” By 2015, Millennials will become the primary influencers in theUnited States, with an estimated $900 billion in spending power in the economicmarketplace, and their habits will determine technological advancements, socialbehavior and political movements. Further study into this emerging consumerforce brings insights into the future opportunities and challenges for advertisers.Through focus groups, in-depth interviews and surveys, the Creative Collectivetapped into the habits and opinions of Millennials who are still in school and inthe workforce.This research provided insights into the respondents’ media usage,particularly in hot technologies, as well as their use and attitudes toward digitaladvertising, device context, television, Facebook and brand relationships.As the Creative Collective, we present this plans book as a summary of ourfindings.We hope it provides you with a better understanding of Millennialconsumer behavior and media usage. We are Millennials. This is our generation.Our immense gratitude to the people of PHD Worldwide, our trusted professorsat Grady College, and all those that made this project possible. We’re excited toshare our thoughts and knowledge, and we hope that our insights about Millennialsand their behavior will be beneficial to you.1
  3. 3. Table of ContentsThe PHD Creative CollectiveHot TechnologiesContext, Content & DevicesThe Ever Presence of DigitalTelevision & Multi-Video ContentThe Evolution of FacebookStorytellingStephanie Wright & Chelsea FranklinRebecca HoernerLucas HoltJoAnn AndersonChristabel BelonwuAsia Martin-Ingram252141536331
  4. 4. The Phd Creative CollectiveHot TechnologiesChelsea FranklinAdvertising I SpanishHot TechnologiesStephanie WrightAdvertisingContext, Content& DevicesRebecca HoernerAdvertising I New Media3
  5. 5. The Ever Presenceof Digital AdvertisingLucas HoltAdvertisingTelevision & Multi-Video ContentJoAnn AndersonM.A., AdvertisingThe Evolution of FacebookChristabel BelonwuAdvertising I New MediaStorytellingAsia Martin-IngramAdvertising I Psychology4
  6. 6. Hot TechnologiesHow do young adults learn about the“cool new thing” in technnology?How do consumers decide what makes something“blow up”?What kind of relationships do Millennials havewith a Laptop vs. Tablet vs. Smartphone?
  7. 7. CHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHT PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChelsea FranklinThe product of a single mother, my media knowledge has elevated me to the respected positionof “Technology Educator” of the household. After I have explained the many functions and usesof her iPad to my mom time and again, she still uses it in a clunky Baby Boomer way. And now,she never hesitates to use it as a camera in the middle of crowded restaurants (among other,rather embarrassing tactics).What can I say? We come from two starkly different generations.I am and advertising major and a Millennial. I spend a lot of time with and around social media,devices, and technology trends. It’s in the fabric of my being, the core of my studies, and thetopic of conversation with, well, everyone. Constantly busy, I find social media is a way toexpress and celebrate my daily activities. It’s something I think about often and I check, refresh,and update even more often. My actions on social media are intended, deliberate, and planned.Not every picture makes the Instagram cut, and not every idea is tweeted. If there aren’t enough“likes” on a status update, I’ll delete it. I don’t own an iPad AND...I wouldn’t be caught deadtaking pictures with it if I had one. Just like many other Millennials, I develop my personal brandacross social media platforms and through various devices. My MacBook Pro is my home-base.Here, while I work using email, checking Linkedin and finishing assignments, I maintain a BlackKeys Pandora station just at the perfect volume. Close by, my always-shattered iPhone sits. It isclose by because I need it. My phone keeps me plugged-in when I’m at home and on the go.Stephanie WrightI was born in Canada, immigrated to the land of the free at the age of eight and became anAmerican citizen ten years later. Early exposure to these two cultures was instrumental inestablishing my worldview. I learned that most of us are searching for validation from ourpeers, friends and loved ones and are quick to adopt technology that allows for the magicalmoment of connection to occur.When we moved, we were separated from our family by thousands of miles and were forcedto communicate with them through machines. From the first time a computer entered ourhousehold, I was glued to the keyboard, trying to figure out how to play with this new toy.I am a self-proclaimed advertising nerd whose passion for advertising is fueled by a curiosityabout human behavior and a love of communication technology. While not all Millennials sharemy passion for advertising, many share my fascination with technology and keeping up with thelatest technology trends.6
  8. 8. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaQuestion:CHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTHot TechnologiesWith our ever-changing technologylandscape, where new applications and iOSupdates are available daily, it seems nearlyimpossible to stay current, fresh, and up-to-date. Still, Millennials effortlessly completethis daunting task. Our networks, bothdigital and personal, aid in our search forthe next big thing. The click of a tab or therefresh of a feed allows us to quickly testthe newest technology and draw immediateassumptions regarding its potential forour further use. If we don’t know howto do something, we simply “Google it.”We are quick to analyze, even quickerto judge, and have a strict check-list ofprerequisites pending our adoption of anew application or device.There are simplyfar too many options to waste time on theunnecessary. The Millennial generation’sability to sift through the technology inorder to decide what is noteworthy is a taskeasily completed through crowdsourcing.Crowdsourcing is the modern definition ofteamwork for Millennials.The Network EffectAs Millennials, we base our identity on ourprimal need to stay socially relevant andconnected. Similar to other generations,the urge to communicate is central to theformation of our identities. As such, wecrave the approval of our immediate peergroups (even if “immediate” includes our2,000+ Facebook friends).We are alsomore likely to adopt trends and habits frompeers in order to sidestep our generation’sgreatest phobia-- the fear of missing out.The Fear Of Missing Out:anxiety created by theperception of beinguninformed, irrelevantand out-of-date.How do young adults learn about the“cool new thing” in technnology?7
  9. 9. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTHot TechnologiesInnovation InfluencersTechnology blogs,YouTube channels anddistinguished tweeters serve as funnelsthrough which the newest knowledgeon digital developments is filtered forMillennials. These sources serve as trusted“experts” whose messages and updatesare retweeted, reblogged, shared anddisseminated to the masses. Individuals whosubscribe to these technological advisorshave an interest outside of their motivationto connect with friends. Many of thosewe talked to who avidly seek out of newtechnological knowledge are majors orminors in mass communication, technology,or new media fields. If an innovation receivespositive feedback from the majority of thecontributors in social media, these digitalenthusiasts then share their discoverieswith their friends and families who are lesstechnologically savvy. It is through this chainof events that software and technologyrecommendations pass in order for thetechnology to be accepted for use by thegeneral public.Simplicity is the KeyMillennials respond to brands thatemphasize simplicity, productivity, andcustomizability in the construction of theirelectronics. This is one reason that Appleproducts are widely used by Millennials. Inour online survey of University of Georgiastudents, 75% of respondents cited theiPhone as their smartphone of choice dueto it’s ability for updates to be seamlesslyintegrated into all of their devices.8
  10. 10. CHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHT PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaInsightsSocialgraphicsA primary motivation for us to adoptnew technologies is to remain in contactwith our social network. Consequently,our personal preferences are sometimessecondary to the preferences of thosewith whom we associate. This herdmentality is a major determinant ofwhether or not a technology is considered“cool” in the eyes of Millennials.This mindset is so ingrained intoMillennials that one female in our focusgroups explained that she bought asmartphone because her friends used it.“I purchased my firstsmartphone out of peerpressure and the desireto be ‘with it.’”According to a report in 2012,the class of consumers who use mobiletechnology cannot be defined bytraditional demographics such age, gender,income or race. Instead, it is definedby its members’ shared behaviors orsocialgraphics. Understanding the commonbehavioral traits that unite Millennialsmakes its members easy to recognize andunderscores the influence this group hason the way we communicate, consumeand shop.Grabbing and keeping the attentionof the Millennial consumer has neverbeen more difficult. Navigating betweenmultiple devices and technology platformsthroughout the day is the norm for us.However, there are certain requirementsthat have to met in order for Millennialsto consider adding an electronic device ora new application into their daily routine.If advertisers want us to use it, it must beeasy to navigate and useful.Female: “I only have somuch time at mydisposal and technologyhas to be simple inorder for me to evenconsider starting touse it.”Hot Technologies 9
  11. 11. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTQuestion:How do consumers decide whatmakes something “blow up”?Keeping up with the latest technology isno longer a pastime for nerds, but instead,a prerequisite to facilitate everydayconversation. The phrase “keeping upwith the Joneses,” is no longer aboutthe neighborhood gossip that your newC-class car will generate, but how many“mentions,” “likes,” or “comments” you canearn across your social media platforms.From Instagramming yesterday’s brunch tocontributing to the content of our favoriteTV show, Millennials are cultural curatorswho specialize in digital communication--and it’s all based on our need to socialize.“Popularity” has been replaced by“trendability,” and whether or not yourcontribution strikes a relevant chord amongusers worldwide.But what drives this inherent need forvalidation from our peers? The desire andability to feel linked to our fellow Millennialsis how we’re wired and modern technologyhas facilitated that need by breaking downthe physical barriers of communicationexperienced by older generations.Those who discover the key to creatingcontent that goes viral have the power toengage Millennials. So what makes somethinggo viral? We agree with what Kevin Allocca,YouTube’s Trends Manager, said about thethree elements that contribute to videosgoing viral: tastemakers, communities ofparticipation and unexpectedness.TastemakersThese are people who are digitally “trusted”,those whose opinions carry weight andwhose preferences are quickly adoptedby others.With social media applications,tastemakers are the first people to set upaccounts and the first to convince theirfriends to do the same.We are aware ofthese tastemakers, and often look to themfor our next step in the world of technology.Sometimes, these people are celebrities, andtheir outright endorsements or their generaluse lead us to act similarly.Once these initial Tastemakers establish apresence, we join in, creating a community ofsimilar interest.Tastemakers introduce us tonew and interesting things, form an opinionabout them and then introduce them toa larger audience. Tastemakers influencethe social media networks we use, but alsothe information we pass on to each other.Looking at our followers, friends and whowe follow can be telling when it comes tofinding out who the tastemakers are in oursocial networks.Hot Technologies10
  12. 12. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTCommunitiesof ParticipationWe don’t just enjoy entertainment, weparticipate in it. Our need to be heard isa direct result of our urge to engage withpeople who have similar interests. Withsocial media, and online videos, we have theopportunity to be validated, and to openlyand visually gain the approval of our peers.We like content that we can adapt and makeour own. Sites such as Instagram, YouTube,and Twitter allow us to seek out and choosethe groups we want to be associated with,and to share with the people whose opinionswe value. We now feel some ownership ofcontent that is produced in our own popculture.We now feel someownership of content thatis produced in our ownpop culture.Hot Technologies 11
  13. 13. UnexpectednessIn order to develop the stickinessfactor in the minds of Millennials, digitalcommunications have to break out ofthe pattern of the established norm.Thiscan be done by creating communicationsthat combine surprising elements withhumor to generate a unique form ofentertainment that cannot be found inany message or video that camebefore it.A recent example of a video thatsuccessfully went viral was the HarlemShakeYouTube video which, according toYoutube, was first posted by The SunnyCoast Skate on February 2, 2013. Itspawned communities of participation,many of which became even morepopular than the original.For example, on February 11th, theUniversity of Georgia men’s swim teamposted a version that achieved morethan18 million hits in the first week. Itbenefited from all three of the elementsmentioned above.Viewing for this videoreally took off after its initial appearanceon theToday Show on February 13th.Following its exhibition to the masses ona popular television show (a tastemaker),it has received nationwide attention fromcountless blogs and news sources.Theunexpectedness delivered by this videowas the the unexpected twist of filmingthe video underwater. Several othercollege swim teams posted their ownversions of the video.The idea, in theory, was a simple one.But the unconventional executionwas something that had never beenattempted by previous curators and asa result became incorporated into pop-culture. Within four weeks of beingposted, the UGA swim team HarlemShake video achieved more than 32million hits onYoutube.Hot TechnologiesPHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHT12
  14. 14. The Age of the FeedOne of the most common initiators ofconversations in the vernacular of Millennialsis “Did you see what so-and-so posted ontheir Timeline/Twitter/Instagram?” We feelan internal validation when the posts wepublish to our social media accounts receivefeedback in the form of comments,“likes”and retweets. As a result, micro-celebritiesemerge and are lauded for their oversharingby allowing complete strangers to become acaptive audience to their lives.We becometheir following, tossing our thumbs up, redhearts and stars as if we were patting themon the back in real life.Female: “I don’t fall asleepwithout checking my Twitter,getting on Facebook,looking at Instagram, goingback to Twitter to check tomake sure that I didn’t missanything important.”Advertisers who push out new content thatcan be consumed by Millennials via socialmedia (through their celebrity spokespeopleor these micro-celebrities) are more likelyto be considered relevant and current. If anadvertiser has an ad before a video that isgoing viral, it will be more likely to be seenby Millennials.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTInsightsHot Technologies 13
  15. 15. Question:What types of relationships do Millennialshave with a Laptop vs. Tablet vs. Smartphone?The Millennial generation’s exposure to advancements in technology and communicationhave created our fluency with technology and fueled our desire to communicate.Three technological devices have been adopted by our generation and serve as facilitatorsof consumption and communication for Millennials. They are the laptop, the tablet andthe smartphone. Although their uses overlap in many ways, we tend to have a uniquerelationship with each.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTHot Technologies14
  16. 16. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTLaptopOur BabyMillennials’ laptops are generally thetechnological hub that stores all of ourprecious digital information. From our creditcard numbers to our photographed memories,all of the data that we have to our namecan be found inside this portable 13” to 17”device. As a result, our laptop is invaluable, soit needs to kept safe and sound. If our laptopis stolen or a virus infiltrates our firewalls,we are at risk of having our financial andpersonal security jeopardized. Consequently,we treat our laptops as our pseudo-children.Whenever it’s acting strange, we check forviruses so we can alleviate the problem.When it’s broken, we take it to a specialistto figure out what’s wrong. We cradle it inprotective layers to make sure it doesn’t getdented or scratched. Sometimes we dress itup with stickers to show the world it belongsto us.We feed it power to make sure that itwill stay alive.Additionally, the software that we chooseto download onto our laptops transforms amass-produced product into an extensionof ourselves by allowing us to pursue ourpassions.The Millennial’s laptop is a toolboxequipped with the applications that cantransform our raw creativity into the buildingblocks of productivity through which we canmeasure their achievements. From scatterednotes to term papers, shaky mobile videos toviral phenomena, and disorganized businessplans to successful startups, the laptop’shost of applications paired with its ease-of-mobility, equip the on-the-go Millennial withresources to accomplish tasks that were onceonly possible under the fluorescent buzzof an office cubicle.Therefore, we treasureour laptops not only because of their fiscalvalue, but also because of how essential theircapabilities are to fulfilling our dreams.Hot Technologies 15
  17. 17. Retail CatalogMillennials often prefer to shop online.With all of our personal financialinformation stored on one device, the laptopserves as conduit through which Millennialscan access the world of Internet commerce.Past purchases are saved and stored sothat online retailers can customize theirproduct suggestions to our preferences.Everything from age, geography, life stage andsocial profiles play a part in offering a morerelevant and valuable shopping experience.Having access to limitless informationthrough the Internet allows us to instantlycompare prices to find the best deal andcomb through reviews posted by othercustomers to see if that product is worthpurchasing. Favorite online retailers can bebookmarked for future transactions.Thelarger screen and higher quality resolutionof our laptops permits us to examine thefeatures of the product in detail.The fullkeyboard allows consumers to easily enterbilling and shipping information withouthaving to worry about the consequences ofa potential slip of clumsy thumbs.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTHot Technologies16
  18. 18. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTTabletA LuxuryThe emergence of tablet computers hasprovided a new device format for usersto enjoy access to a wide variety of digitalexperiences and information. However,with the abundance of devices that areavailable, most Millennials still perceiveowning a tablet to be more of a luxury thana necessity.The high-price point of tabletsprovides an economic barrier to the majorityof Millennials who are living paycheck topaycheck and are trying to pay off theirstudent loans. Furthermore, our researchfound that tablets are perceived by ourgeneration as a glorified iPhone in that theyoffer the same features as a smartphone,but with a larger screen. According to aJune 2012 study by Google reported, about 37% oftablet owners are between the ages of 18-34.As of March 2012, approximately 19% of 18-34 year olds reported owning a tablet.Thisnumber is expected to continue to increasein 2013.The EntertainerSo, what is the cause of this device’spopularity? According to a researchpaper by Google in October 2012 titled“Understanding Tablet Use:A Multi-Method Exploration” tablets are being usedprimarily to enhance recreation and leisureexperiences and have become the newcenter for living room entertainment.Themost popular activity to do with a tablet wasreported to be watching TV with more than60% of respondents reporting using theirtablet for this. Respondents told Google thatthey were using their tablets to enhance theirTV experience “by extending that activitythrough, for example, looking up relatedinformation about the program that theywere watching.” However, the researchersalso found that many of the participants justused TV as background noise while checkingtheir email and doing other things completelyunrelated to watching TV.This trend in tabletusage is supported by a report releasedby Flurry Analytics in October 2012 thatprovided details about how tablets are mainlybeing used during the evening and prime-timecable hours.Hot Technologies 17
  19. 19. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTSmartphoneOur BuddyThe ability to communicate instantly withpeople regardless of our location is a luxurythat Millennials have come to expect.Adirect line of communication to individualswas available to everyone who owned amobile phone since their mass distributionto the public in 1995 when Millennials werebetween the ages of about 3 and 14 yearsold. Consequently, the evolution of the deviceto allow for Millennials to connect withone another at all times was embraced andincorporated into the fabric of the modernrelationship.Whether or not you owneda mobile phone became instrumental indetermining with whom you communicatedon a daily or hourly basis. Through ourresearch, Millennials told us that the primarymotivator for them to acquire a smartphonewas whether or not their friends had one.Owning a smartphone fulfills our inherentneed for connection and diffuses our fear ofmissing out by allowing us to communicatethrough a variety of channels instantaneously.The Fifth LimbDuring the past 10 years, the mobile phone’sfunctionality has evolved from a simplecommunication tool to an appendage thatMillennials say they can’t live without. Formany people in GenerationY, the last thingwe do before we go to bed is check oursmartphones and it’s often the first thing wereach for in the morning when we wake up.According to Mashable (2012), two out offive Millennials said “they would feel anxious,like a part of me is missing” if they couldn’tuse their smartphone to stay connected.It is part of us. As a result, checking oursmartphone throughout the day has becomea reflex and that has turned a device into anextension of the human body.We use it for information, commerceand shopping, entertainment and socialnetworking. By allowing for the integrationof countless applications onto one singledevice, the mobile phone has incorporatedthe functions of radios, newspapers, digitalcameras and computers.Hot Technologies18
  20. 20. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTInsightsTechnology isBoth Enablingand DebilitatingTechnology doesn’t define the Millennialgeneration but instead it reflects theirvalues. Our generation lives with the luxuryof having a library’s worth of knowledge atour fingertips with a single search and hasan expectation to be able to access thatinformation on-demand. Social networksbreak down barriers that allow you to friendor follow someone from any race, creed,religion, culture, or nationality anywhere inthe world. In this way, Internet access is agreat equalizer. It gives us the opportunity tocommunicate with a wide variety of peopleand exchange information.There is no citythat cannot be conquered with the powerof GoogleMaps. Primal needs such as hunger,shelter and clothing can be sought outthrough various software applications.However, the power to transcend time andspace does not come without repercussions.These days, Millennials are mere steps awayfrom literally plugging their brains into amodem.On a typical day, GenerationY can be foundconnected to screens for the majority of theirwaking hours. Emails, voicemails, updates andtext messages pop up on our smartphonesaround the clock, forcing us to remain alertto check the latest post or notification.Even when human interaction does takeplace, people sit around tables checkingtheir calendars on their phones and textingpeople who aren’t there when there are lullsin conversations. Such behavior is no longerconsidered rude, it’s expected. Consequently,people have to make the conscious effortto unplug from this hyper-connected worldand go “off-the-grid.” We no longer have theoption to devote our entire attention to thepeople who we are with and completely enjoyliving in the moment.Hot Technologies 19
  21. 21. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaCHELSEA FRANKLIN & STEPHANIE WRIGHTConsidering Millennials are alreadysuffering from an over-saturation of media,brands need to recognize the underlyingpurpose of a new media technologybefore they fund the constructionof an application or create a socialmedia platform account.Without anunderstanding the functionality that eachtechnology provides and appropriatinga unique company value into the designof the application it will not be seen asnecessary amongst consumers.Male: “Sometimes Ihave to force myself totake a break from mysmartphone. The amountof notifications andmessages I receive everyday is exhausting and it’sa chore to keep up withthem.”Female: “I seriously think Isuffer from technologyfatigue. There are timeswhen I can’t decidewhether or not technologyis a burden or a blessing.”Hot Technologies20&
  22. 22. Context, content& devicesHow does the context and content of anadvertisement affect how young adults perceive it?How do young adults perceive infomercialsand direct-response?What types of advertising make Millennials look atbrands in a more favorable light and vice versa?
  23. 23. Rebecca HoernerPHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerI am an antsy military brat. My dad’s jobrequired our family to move every two tothree years, so I ended up attending ninedifferent schools before college. Movingaround so much gave me the ability to adaptto change quickly. I was forced to either makefriends quickly or to not have friends at all.This adaptability has provided me with friendsall around the country and a desire to travel.These experiences influenced not only myoutlook on life, but also the development ofmy media usage habits.Although Facebook has lost some of its lusterfor me and many other Millennials, I still find itthe most useful social media platform. It is themost present in my life because it allows meto stay in contact with my friends from aroundthe world. Instagram has quickly become afavorite of mine for artistic glimpses into thelives of my dispersed friends. My media usagemainly revolves around staying up to speedwith my project groups at UGA and stayingin touch with my friends. I use Facebookmessenger to keep in contact with friendswho live outside of Georgia.The collaborationbetween Facebook and Skype for video chatmake it possible for me to talk to friends andfamily in the same social space.As with other Millennials, I sometimes havea preference as to which device I use forspecific applications and for techniquesadvertisers use to gain my attention on thesedevices. For example, if I were to see any adson Facebook, I’d find them more intrusive onmy phone where they would take up mostof my screen display. In a world of endlesstechnology changes, advertising messages arenot enough as advertisers have to considerthe platforms they use as they navigate theemerging social norms on new media.22
  24. 24. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerQuestion:How does the context and content of anadvertisement affect how young adults perceive it?Context, content & devces 23Millennials are connected 24/7, making uslean, mean, filtering machines.We wereborn into media clutter and because of thisconnectedness, we are constantly inundatedwith advertising and information (usefulor not). Millennials have grown up with30-second television spots, infomercials, andads with lots of movement, sound and color.We get bored easily and we are hungry forentertainment.Millennials are used to having entertainmenton demand.YouTube and online streamingchannels are replacing traditional televisionviewing for many of us. According to Google(B2W, 2011), an averageYouTube viewerspends 164 minutes online every day; incontrast, consumers spend just 130 minutesper day watching traditional television.Yes, most Millennials watchYouTube videoson their computers, but that is changing.More and more of us us watchYouTube onour mobile phones while we’re on the go.TheYouTube app is one of the most popularapplications of the iPhone.With the increasingpopularity of game consoles and other syncedwifi to television devices, we Millennials arealso watchingYouTube in our living roomsusing television screens.
  25. 25. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerInsightsContext, content & devces24Due to our on-the-go nature, Millennialsuse various digital devices for differentcircumstances. Millennials appreciate itwhen advertisers make content that isrelevant to the medium on which it is beingconsumed, whether that be smartphone,tablet, or computer.If advertisers have an ad that requires moreattention, we Millennials are more likely toengage and connect with the brand if wesee it advertised on a bigger screen like atablet or a computer.We Millennials aremore receptive to adopting new productsif they are recommended by a trusted sitethat takes into account our prior producttastes and styles.And, because we aremore likely to be visiting shopping siteson our computers, advertisers may findthat Millennials may be more receptiveto their recommendations based on pastpurchases when Millennials are using theircomputers. It is likely that advertisers willbe able to reach Millennials effectively onour smartphones without alienating usif they are providing us with useful localinformation (e.g., store, hotel or restaurantinformation) in some sort of opt-in format.E-CommerceReigns SupremeAs mentioned earlier, our generation enjoysexploring retail sites using our computers.We found that when other Millennialsare online and are taken outside of aspecific shop or website, they are morewilling to look at options from anotherbrand or product due to similar style or arecommendation provided. For example, aMillennial may have never made a purchasefrom, but if he or she loves aproduct on Pinterest and later realizesit is from, that Millennial maybe more open to purchasing the product,despite previous impressions of the brandor store.Though advertisements mayseem intrusive in other situations, someMillennials we talked to were open tomessages that were relevant to their needsor allowed them to interact with thebrand. For example, some ads that seemedappealing were ones that were suggestedafter Millennials made an online purchase.Female: “If I find somethingI like on Pinterest, Waneloor Etsy, I’ll save it for later,even if I’ve never boughtfrom that brand or shopbefore.”
  26. 26. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerContext, content & devces 25Interactionis EmbracedAs mentioned earlier, many of the Millennialswe spoke to do not have a tablet yet becausethey see it as having similar features as asmartphone only with a larger screen. Sincetablets are primarily being used to enhancerecreational and leisure experiences andare becoming a new center for living roomentertainment, Millennials might be morereceptive to infomercials and productdemonstrations on tablets to be used in theliving room or as a supplement to television.For tablets, Millennials want to see adsoptimized for the device. Ads woven intoshows are perceived as annoying by mostMillennials, but unlike television equipped withfeatures like DVR, ads for tablets can’t beskipped easily and are seen as a tiny hurdle toget to a favorite show (, 2012).Respond to the PullWe Millennials are less receptive toadvertisements on our mobile device becausewe consider it a part of ourselves and seeadvertisements as personally invasive. We useour mobile phones to seek out content, nothave it pushed at us. With search capabilitiesin our pockets and available at all times,we Millennials are seeking out our owninformation and are more cautious aboutbrands reaching out to us on our phones.Male: “When I’m traveling,I would be lost without myiPhone. Google Maps is myBible and I always read reviewsof restaurants on Urbanspoonso I know that I will be gettingmy money’s worth.”
  27. 27. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerQuestion:How do young adults perceiveinfomercials and direct-response?Context, content & devces26In 2009, an executive at a top advertisingagency said,“People are most attracted toinfomercials and as-seen-on-TV productsbecause people get to see the products inuse and that reduces the risk associatedwith any purchase decision” (ABC News).While this may be true for other age groups,many Millennials are seeking out productdemonstrations in other media. Millennialsare going online and searching for user-generated product reviews and how-to videosviaYouTube and Pinterest because thesechannels feature peers and others sharingthings of interest.We perceive these sourcesas more trustworthy and are therefore morereceptive to messages from them.The Legacy ofBilly MaysInfomercials tend to carry a negativestigma among Millennials. Our focusgroup respondents told us that the word“infomercial” has a negative connotation.They admitted that they immediately tune outand frown upon brands that use infomercials.When we asked Millennials what came tomind when they thought of infomercials,Millennials typically responded:“Billy Mays,”“dumb,” “annoying,” and “dull.”In a sea of television spots and sometimes badcreative, infomercials do not stand out as coolor attractive to Millennials.Millennials indicated that infomercials are notan effective way to reach them--they tune outand label infomercials as “clutter.” In the twominutes it takes to sit through an infomercial,we can easily be more entertained byour mobile phones and tune in to oursocial media newsfeeds. Of the Millennialsinterviewed, no one had a truly positiveexperience with an infomercial and the “old-school” approach was not seen as admirable.The combination of the types of products andthe style associated with infomercials makesthem unappealing and annoying for Millennials.They do not understand why brands usethem and often look at them as comical andsearch for spoofs online.Female: “I think the waythat they advertise is just soobnoxious, so that there’s not away for you NOT to rememberan infomercial product becauseyou know they’re always like‘BILLY MAYS HERE!’”
  28. 28. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerContext, content & devces 27When we asked other Millennials what tonethey associated with infomercials and directresponse advertising, they said “forcefultone,” “cheap” and “overzealous.” Theyassociate this type of advertising with hairremoval products, kitchen/kitchen utensils,cleaning products, personal products,household products, kids’ toys, and randomcollectors’ items.They see the “As Seen onTV” label and think things are often soldfor $19.95. As established, this type ofadvertising is not particularly relevant toMillennials. Infomercials were memorablein Millennials’ minds, but sometimes forhumor and absurdity. When asked what theyassociated infomercials with, one Millennialmale said,“I think of 3:00 in the morningwhen there isn’t anything good on,” whileanother male said,“I think of length of time...just pounding you over the head with thesame thing and using the same pictures fivetimes.”The Power of CelebrityMillennials told us they have never ordered aproduct from an 1-800 number after seeingan ad on television.  Yet all could recall aninfomercial they liked.  Most respondentsparticularly recalled an infomercial for aproduct which is known for using celebrityendorsements.  Millennials said they liked the aspectof familiarity associated with celebrityendorsements. Even though they mightknow the wow factor is at play, consumersstill like the celebrity and essentially wouldlike to be more like him or her.  Also, whenthe celebrity is a person close to our age,Millennials more receptive to the messageof the infomercial because the personbeing shown is more relevant to them as aconsumer.  For example, they felt that Proactiv acnemedicine made effective use of age-relevantcelebrity endorsers in their direct responseappeals.
  29. 29. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerContext, content & devces1-800-Cheap ProductLearning About Products Through User-Generated Content28Millennials lose respect for brands thatuse infomercial advertising, despite brandprestige. Millennials say they would like tobelieve infomercials, but there is a long-standing perception that infomercials arefor lower-end products, not well-establishedbrands due to the poor productionvalue.  The level of skepticism associatedwith infomercials diminishes any chance oftrustworthiness for brands advertising usinginfomercials.  When asked to fill in a conversation aboutApple using an infomercial, Millennials weresurprised to think that Apple wouldadvertise with an infomercial.The products they associate withinformercials are identified as beingunnecessary or sketchy.Female:“The ‘As Seen onTV’ tag doesn’t make mewant something more, itmakes me think that it’sworse. “Research by Bazaarvoice (Video-Commerce,2012) found that strangers have the mostinfluence with Millennials when it comes tomaking a purchase. Over half of Millennialsmore likely influenced by User GeneratedContent (UGC) produced and posted bystrangers, compared with recommendationsfrom friends, family and colleagues.A study from comScore (Video-Commerce,2012) found Millennial purchase intent shotup 26% with the presence of UGC video,which is 3x the impact compared to othergroups.The intersection of UGC with videois especially powerful because it removesthe anonymity and skepticism associatedwith written reviews and gives a muchmore honest view into other users’ productexperiences.By embracing the abilities and voices ofyour most passionate consumers ratherthan trying to maintain complete controlof the voice of your brands, advertisers areendorsing the most powerful asset a businesscan have as a brand advocate. Althoughnot all of the content that is generated willbe positive, it allows advertisers to react,reciprocate and respond to the potentialproblems Millennials may identify asconsumers.
  30. 30. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerContext, content & devcesInsights29Millennials are interested in user-generated content and product reviews and useYoutube as avenue to search “how-to” videos and product demonstrations on their own. Millennials expectadvertisers to create interesting, entertaining and useful video demonstrations online so theycan access them on an as-needed basis. Millennials want to see how brands’ products are beingused in cool and new ways. Advertisers will find that Millennials are most receptive to productdemonstrations if they are tasteful, if they use a relevant celebrity or if they are given anincentive for paying attention. Millennials are also receptive to honest content such as brand-sponsored, how-to videos and User Generated Content such as product reviews because itgives the impression that the company is not trying to hide anything from their customers andis actively trying to engage in a conversation with its audience.Male: “I use YouTube to learnsomething new and I feel likeI learn something about aproduct that I wouldn’t knowunless I watched that videoabout it.”Female: “I would be morelikely to watch a productdemonstration if it were onYouTube or online.”
  31. 31. Question:What types of advertising make Millennialslook at a brand in a more favorable lightand vice versa?  PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaRebecca HoernerContext, content & devces30Millennials appreciate when advertisersplace advertising messages in places thatappear to be organic because it allowsfor young adults to interpret a brand, asopposed to having advertisers yelling atthem and telling them what to think.As a result, Millennials are receptiveto advertising content that is placed incontextually relevant media because it isalready mixed in with something that theylike. Also, encouraging engagement withyour brand by inviting your consumersto participate in conversations with yourcompany makes the brand seem as thoughit relates to Millennials’ needs and desires.For a well-distinguished brand like Apple,Millennials said they love seeing contentproduced for them by Apple and are hungryfor the next product to be released.Female: “I would bemore likely to watch aproduct demonstrationor further investigate aproduct if it had reviews onYouTube...I’ve gone onlineand watched Slap-Chopinfomercials and weird stuffbut not on TV.”
  32. 32. The Ever Presence ofDigitalWhat are Millennials’ perceptions of digital screens?How effective is adigital billboard vs. a standard billboard?Do digital elements affect Millennials’ perceptionsof a brand?
  33. 33. Lucas HoltPHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaGrowing up in small-town Georgia, myhard-working parents taught me some basicrules for life: be home by dark if you’replaying in the woods; a hard-earned dollar isthe only type of dollar; and watching TV fortoo long will cause something called “brainrot.” But there were many things that myBaby Boomer parents weren’t equipped topass on. I’m a Bulldog-educated advertisingaficionado who stumbled into love with theindustry after realizing that no other fieldwould have as much appreciation for myeclectic collection of skills. Waiting tablesand picking up freelance work to put myselfthrough school have certainly added value tomy academic education.Between part-time jobs, school, andinternships, I’ve come to rely on digital mediato keep me connected to my peers and theworld. I’m a Millennial of the MySpace era.To us,“social” and “digital” are the same.While earlier generations relied on face-to-face interactions to learn the basics ofsocial life, we Millennials were the first to beintroduced to this social hybrid of digital andreal-life.“Cyber” became tangible becauseit mattered; from early on, we learned howwe branded ourselves online could impactour real lives. So much of the developmentof our individual identity has had a digitalinfluence.32
  34. 34. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltQuestion:How effective is a digital billboardvs. a standard billboard?We asked Millennials in our focus groupswhat they thought about billboards.“Distracting,” “annoying,” “irrelevant,” and“junky” were common responses. Butlooking further into how a billboard’senvironment can impact the way it’sperceived, we saw that traditional out-of-home channels are still an effective methodof reaching younger markets. Billboardshelp to facilitate a awareness of communityspecific activities, such as arrivals of newbusinesses and upcoming concerts or otherrecreational events.Out-of-HomeMeets ViralIn Dancing with Digital Natives, MichaelRussell tells how Millennials are using socialmedia to engage with and respond tobillboards. He tells the story of a Millennialblogger who wrote an article protestingwhat he viewed as a controversial billboard.His post helped spread the message toviewers that who were not in the potentialaudience geographically. More importantly,the digital format facilitated conversationand shareability.Russell says,“The billboard got his attention.It made him think. It also motivated himto talk about the issue, and he spread theword to others about it, as he showed thebillboard in his blog. Digital natives mayknow how to use technology and expectcompanies to deliver messages via thesetechnologies, but they’re not immune toeffective traditional advertising.”To promote Canadian recording artistDrake’s new single earlier this year, amassive billboard outside of Toronto read--“Started from the Bottom.” While simple,this communication piece carried meaningfulsymbolism for avid Drake fans.The billboardlocation alone carried significance. By placingit in Toronto (Drake’s hometown), he wasnot only conveying a sense of Toronto prideand appreciation for his loyal, Canadianfans, he was simultaneously reminding themthat every rise to greatness, including his,“started from the bottom.” Subsequently,the hashtag “#SFTB” gained popularity onTwitter and Instagram. The single continuesto gain in popularity and has recently movedup to the #6 position atop the Billboard 100.The ever-presence of digital advertising 33
  35. 35. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltInsightsMale: “I love it because it’sinteresting and provides alittle entertainment whenI’m driving. But I hate it,because I’m afraid that I’mgoing to get in a wreck if Ifocus on it long enough toreally finish readingthe message.”Multiple Ads OnOne BillboardThrough our research we learned thatwhile Millennials are naturally attracted torotating/multiple-ad billboards, they voicedfrustration at being unable to give these adstheir full attention or being unable to finishreading them before the next ad appears.Some Millennials even noted concernsfor safety when trying to drive and payattention to roadside displays.But regardless of these frustrations,Millennials generally view them as en-routeentertainment and are not interested inspending more time reading or engagingwith billboards when given more time.We prefer displays that have multipleadvertisements featuring the same brandover seeing different ads cycling throughfor various companies.Young consumersare highly responsive to billboards thatcommunicate the message quickly andwith very few words; pictures are certainlypreferred, especially when using vivid digitaldisplays.The ever-presence of digital advertising34
  36. 36. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltFor Gen-Ys, crowdsourcing is the primarymode of gathering information. Pairingtimeliness and relevance is what gives valueand meaning to content for Millennials.AsPuneet Mehta explained in a 2013 article, knowing if it’s going to rain isonly relevant if you’re going to be in it.ToMillennials, good digital ads are helpful andsubtly effective. One Millennial commented:Male: “I see ads so much Ifeel like I’m just beat overthe heads with ads.”Consider the implications of a digital billboardpositioned above a car dealership thatdisplays it’s competitive advantages (suchprice and selection) clearly enough to beseen by shoppers at the dealership acrossthe street. When an ad provides informationabout the “here” and “now,” it gives incentiveto Millennial consumers and moves thebrand’s message from peripheral clutter tothe focus of our attention.The informationprovided may only be relevant for a smallwindow of time, but the positive associationMillennials have with your brand will leave astronger, lasting impression.Male: “It just makes senseDigital ads canbe updated often...that could be put to use.”The ever-presence of digital advertising 35Relevance&Timeliness
  37. 37. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltQuestion:What are Millennials’ perceptions of digital screens?With electronic screens being installedeverywhere from retail locations touniversities and gas pumps to restaurants,are these brands being perceived astechnologically savvy or are they just addingnoise to the chaos?The ever-presence of digital advertising36According to an article from,“Millennials are more likely than other groupsto choose retailers based on how fun theyare, and they truly expect a consumer-centricshopping experience -- one tailored to theirmost pressing wants and needs” (2012).
  38. 38. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltInsightsBeing immersed in technology from early on, Millennials are wary consumers of digital media.Digital flashiness can successfully attract younger consumers. In fact, many Millennials weinterviewed spoke very positively of “digital” in-store shopping experiences, but Millennialsultimately respond more to technologies that clearly show how they help to streamline anin-store process and offer incentives. We expect technology to have a function first and thena neat design.The ever-presence of digital advertising 37Male: “It adds a twist. Tome, it’s an advantage overplaces that don’t have thatsort of vibe. Ultimately, Ithink natural curiosity playsa big role in just wanting tocheck out places that aredifferent.”Female: “I feel like a lotof the screens in retaillocations are just clutter.”
  39. 39. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltCreating aDigital CommunityDigital advertisements within concerts,sporting-events, and other live-audiencefunctions are perceived positively byMillennials. Digital ads in arenas are not onlyremembered, they’re expected--they play amajor part in creating positive experiencesthat resonate powerfully among youngconsumers. For example, One male focusgroup participant told us how he alwayscraves a Coke when he’s at Braves games inAtlanta due to Coca-Cola ads in Turner Field,despite the fact that he doesn’t normallydrink soda.Another female Millennial said it’s hertradition to always go to Subway after collegefootball games because of their in-stadiumpromotion is constantly playing to remindher to get her favorite sandwich after thefinal touchdown is scored.Female: “When I’m waitingon something to start,digital ads in a concertvenue or sports arena canbe very entertaining”Male: “The In-Flight Triviagame on Delta flightscreates a really neatsocial dynamic. Flyinghas kind of an awkwardfeel to it but being able toindirectly engage with otherpassengers created a weird‘community’ feel for thoseof us who were playing. Itwas optional, entertaining,and social. Perfect.”The ever-presence of digital advertising38
  40. 40. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltQuestion:Do digital elements affect Millennials’perceptions of a brand?The ever-presence of digital advertisingFrom personalized promotions to using smartphones to interact with digital advertisements,Millennial habits drive the force of changewhen it comes to tech development andadoption. Time-starved, always-moving,young consumers demand that promotionsseamlessly fit into their lives and are notinterested in forming relationships withbrands that offer no up-front consumerincentive. Millennials are very aware ofmarketers’ data tracking abilities and holdprivacy in high esteem.We’re skeptical ofunfamiliar companies using our data to solicitunwarranted personalized promotions, but areopen to suggestions from “trusted” companieswith which we have had previous interactions.In order to get this thrifty generation’sattention, always state the consumerincentive clearly. Techno-savvy Millennials areresourceful in obtaining information abouta product or company with a quick Googlesearch. As such, QR codes are seen to offervery little consumer-incentive as they typicallyredirect to company-sponsored webpages.The power that digitally-driven advertisementshold has never been greater.While digitalis the dialect of the Digital Native, themarketers’ level of fluency determines theimpact of the message received.39
  41. 41. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaLucas HoltThe ever-presence of digital advertisingInsights40The power that digitally-driven advertisementshold has never been greater. While digital isthe dialect of the Digital Native, marketers’level of fluency with digital media determinesthe impact of the message received.Being marinated in technology from earlyon, Millennials are wary consumers of digitalmedia. Digital flashiness can successfully attractyounger consumers. In fact, many Millennialswe interviewed spoke very positively of“digital” in-store shopping experiences, butthese media must provide us with a benefit.Millennials ultimately respond more tolocation-based digital media that clearly showhow they help to streamline our in-storeprocess, offer us an incentive, or providehelpful information.We expect technology tohave a function first and then a neat design.QR CodesMillennials are not flocking to QR codes. Infact, many of our focus group participantswere not even sure what a QR code was.Female: “What’s the point?So I can read more about thead later? There’s no pull.”Personalized PromotionsWhat do young consumers think when brandsthat try to reach out on a more personallevel? Where do Millennials draw-the-linebetween a helpful and personal and invasivelycreepy? Our research suggests that Millennialsdon’t have a uniform opinion on this.Female: “I don’t want towalk by a store and havea digital display show methings I might like. That’screepy. But give me 15% offa shirt I might like and it’stotally different.”
  42. 42. Multi-media Viewingof TV ContentHow do you engage with video entertainment?What devices do you use?Are the TV/Cable Networks stillimportant to you?What types of behaviors occur duringmulti-screen viewing?
  43. 43. Joann AndersonPHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaI’m a 26-year-old Millennial. Social mediahelped set the course for my graduatestudies and career.A few years ago, I beganblogging about my personal style andphotography at’ve been blogging in some format since highschool, but niche blogging was new to me,and I really liked the “daily style” bloggingcommunity.Through this medium, I metother bloggers from around the world whoshared similar interests, and we connectedthrough different social media platforms —our blogs, Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, justto name a few.Through my personal style blog,I also made connections with differentbrands, helping promote their productsin reviews and giveaways to my 1,500subscribers. After coming to graduateschool for a master’s degree in advertising, Istarted a new blog about film and televisioncalled Film Rascal.This jump to blogging about media wasan easy transition, as television has had adeep, personal impact on me. It taught myFilipino mother how to speak English whenmy family moved back to the United Statesafter years abroad.And, for this former military brat, televisionwas a way for me to connect to my peersas I moved around the country. I may nothave known the coolest fads, but I could talkabout what happened on Friends or Buffy, theVampire Slayer the night before, thanks tothe tiny my 10-inch Zenith television.My relationship with television has changedas technology has improved I stay currentwith online discussion boards for myfavorite shows so I can blog about them andI stay connected with other fans.And, while I’ve retired that blocky Zenithtelevision, my screen size has becomesmaller and portable as I watch episodeson my laptop, iPod and more recently, myphone. I’m not alone in this evolution.42
  44. 44. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonQuestion:We still watch traditional television, but marketers can reach Millennials through online video.We are twice as likely as previous generations to watch video clips, and our generationfeels that TV content should be available whenever and wherever we want to watch, whichincludes finding and downloading content online (Marketing Forecast, 2012). In addition,it’s harder to break through to our generation with advertisements.“Ad breakthrough viatelevision advertising for Millennials was substantially lower than for older generations,”according to a 2012 ComScore study.How do you engage with video entertainment?Multi-media viewing of tv content 43
  45. 45. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonInsightsOn-Demand CommandWe Millennials prefer to watch shows afterthe original air time and online because ofconvenience and the ability to skip throughcommercials. As one Millennial female saidfrom a focus group discussion:“I almost neverwatch them during original air time. I recordit, and watch it afterward. I don’t like thecommercials.”The appeal of controlling how to watch alsoextended in the ability to binge-watch contentas well.Another focus group Millennial femalesaid,“I like being able to watch it when itcomes on during the week, and then watch abunch of previous episodes.”The opportunity to watch shows online givesus more freedom to watch what we want.This means discovering shows and being ableto watch as much of it as we can.“I like tomarathon, but if I really like a show, like ‘[The]Walking Dead,’ I don’t want to miss out,” saidone Millennial male.“Sometimes marathonsare better because you can notice things and Ican remember it.”If we do watch televisions during the originalbroadcast, it is for social situations when manyin our peer group will be watching as well, orif the show is deemed “can’t miss” television.As one Millennial female said,“There arecertain exceptions – I like watching ‘WalkingDead’ when it airs, because if I don’t, there willbe so many spoilers on Facebook, I just getreally annoyed.”Connect Through ContextMillennials want to prioritize their television-watching, spending more time watching actualshow content and less time on watchingcommercials.Advertisers can find opportunities to addmore original sponsored content, becomingmore aggressive in areas like productplacement, or partnering with popular showsthat their target consumers show an interest.This allows advertisers to pursue partnershipsthat seem like a natural fit between the brandand a television show, without interrupting theshow with commercials.In addition, we Millennials become fatiguedfrom online ads, especially if the ads arerepetitive. If advertisers have a presenceon an online video site, such as Hulu Plus,they should make commercials contextuallyrelevant to the shows they segment.For example, an ad could include showcharacters interacting in a parallel narrativeto the show, or reference events that justhappened in an episode.Though this willrequire extra effort, such as screeningnetwork episodes before they occur, itoffers an opportunity for advertisers to beinnovative and relevant to television content.Multi-media viewing of tv content44
  46. 46. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonMillennials are more likely than previousgenerations to be tech-savvy and usedifferent gadgets to access their televisionuse, such as a laptop, smartphone or othergadgets for video viewing.We’re less likelyto watch traditional television and the “firstscreen” is less central to our demographic. Itmight be because of economic necessity andlifestyle choices.Lower TV viewing may be because the 18-24demographic is more “out-and-about” thanolder generations, especially during primetime (Nielsen, 2010). The convenience ofhaving everything on one screen is a bigdraw, and plays into multitasking for ourgeneration. Millennials who prefer to use acomputer for video and television contentclaim convenience, portability, and the abilityto easily multitask are big reasons to use thedevice (YPulse, 2012).Question:What devices do you use?Does this vary by situation?Multi-media viewing of tv content 45
  47. 47. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonInsightsConsumption byConvenienceIn our focus groups, indepth interviews andsurvey results, we found that device usevaries by age and life situation. For example,older Millennials who were out of schoolwere more likely to not own a television.Younger Millennials were more likely tohave a television and to watch television asa social situation with roommates. However,almost all participants said they use acomputer to watch their shows, citing itsappeal as a convenient, mobile device.Building off a “buddy vs. baby” relationshipwith devices, participants mentioned theconvenience and intimacy of being able tocradle their laptops to watch television,offering a more personalized experiencewith video-watching.“I can just hold it,” onefemale Millennial said in a focus group.“Idon’t have a TV in my room, so the laptop ismy TV.The screen is bigger.You can useheadphones. I share a room, It’s hard towatch with roommates.” On using a laptop,one female Millennial respondent said,“It’sjust mobile, you know? I can just sit in bedand watch my shows. It’s convenient.”Very few Millennial respondents said theyused their phones or tablets to watchshows, often because of the small screen sizeor cost.Tablets were rare among Millennials,and those who said they had one were oftengifted it. On using a tablet, one Millennialfemale said:“I don’t use it that often. If Idon’t have my laptop around, or if it’s like ifI’m sitting on the couch and don’t have mycomputer out. I use my laptop more oftenthan that.”Another Millennial male said of his phoneuse,“If they did more on iPhones, I woulduse it more for TV. I know there’s Netflix,but it’s such a small screen. Besides, if mylaptop is closer, I’ll just use that.”Matching theMessage to The MediaAdvertisers should understand, Millennialsmay not be early adopters of devices, andmay in fact be scaling back on certain devicesbecause of economic and lifestyle factors.Advertisers should understand what contextin which to reach Millennials and tailor theirmessage strategies toward that.Multi-media viewing of tv content46
  48. 48. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonQuestion:Are the TV/Cable Networks still important to you?Viewing TV content is up, but less of itis watched live, as traditional networkprimetime television has aged over the pastfive years, gaining 50+ viewers and losingadults 18-34 (Media Post, 2012).Young adultsrecord their primetime programs, with halfskipping commercials entirely in playback.Millennials access favorite shows online orthrough a DVR, bypassing ads and networkprogramming (Millennial Marketing, 2010).Millennials do watch a lot of televisionand certain habits -- such as watching anentire season in a day just isn’t provided bynetworks and things like Hulu cannot providebecause of low ad rates.There is also a sentiment of notwanting to pay for content, and this is notlimited to Millennials anymore, as we findmore options (illegal downloading) to bypasshaving to pay for content.A 2010 globalNielsen survey found unwillingness to payfor online content, although half (47%) saidthey would accept more advertising to avoidpaying (Millennial Marketing, 2010).However, some networks can be a draw.“TV networks, particularly those aimed atGenYers, are trying hard not to go throughthe same digital piracy mess that the musicindustry went through.They’re finally embracing streaming services.In the final months of 2011, we’ve seen TheCW, Disney, and ABC Family partner withNetflix, Hulu, and Amazon to offer theircontent to subscribers, with little, if any, delayfollowing the show’s original airing” (YPulse3, 2011).Paying for ParticipationMillennials crave active participation fromshows they enjoy (YPulse 2, 2012), as fans aregrowing up at a time when they can watchshows in real time with stars and share theirthoughts and make topics trend on socialmedia.ABC Family has done an especiallygood job with this, using Millennial generationstars to engage with fans. Some networksare trying to pick up on this. For example,MTV feels they have lost younger viewersfor clinging to Generation X for longer thanthey should.They found that GenY was likelyto watch some of the same programmingas their parents, as opposed to previousgenerations which were considered morerebellious.This kind of thinking has promotedsocial media and redeveloping competition-style programming into reality TV concepts(NY Times, 2010).Multi-media viewing of tv content 47
  49. 49. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonI cut Because...The Millennial respondents in our focus groupsand online survey mentioned the ease of usingdifferent video sites, as Netflix and Hulu werementioned the most. Other sites mentionedinclude HBO Go, PirateBay,,Project Free TV, Itunes.A few participantsmentioned using these sites “a few timesa week” to “every day.” Some sites wereconsidered better than others.One focus group Millennial female preferredusing Netflix over most sites because “thereare no commercials, it has everything, and thequality is better, and streams faster. Hulu isso choppy.” And if video sites didn’t offer thespecific content? “I’ll find shows illegally if Ican’t find them anywhere else,” one Millennialfemale said.Commitment IssuesYoung, working professionals were less likelyto have cable, citing its high costs, and theplethora of other entertainment options.Because of these other options, olderMillennials may be more comfortable withcutting the cord.The access to websitesand services that can stream their favoritetelevison show on-demand and on their owntime was preferred. In our online survey, oneolder Millennial female said: “I don’t havecable — it costs a lot to subscribe.”Because of these thrifty, cost-cutting movesas we get older and find other options forentertainment, advertisers should find waysto sponsor content that appeals to us. Forexample, if a cable subscription or video siteoffered earlier seasons of beloved televisionshows, advertisers could use this opportunityto reach an unreached audience by tailoringmessages that were mentioned in thoseprevious episodes in the newly releasedcontent.Multi-media viewing of tv contentInsights48
  50. 50. I keep because...Having a cable subscription varied amongMillennials.The most common themessuggested that participants were more likelyto have cable if:1. They were in college2. Had roommates who could helpsplit the cost3. The cable was bundled into theirhome utility packageSubscriptionSecurity-BlanketMale Millennials said they were likely topurchase a cable subscription if they did notalready own one -- cable seemed to be asecurity blanket to those who had alwaysowned it.“It came with my lease, but I feel likeI’d still buy it because it’s cable. It’d be weird.I wouldn’t know how to live without it,” saida Millennial male.Another Millennial malewho did not have cable said he watched all ofhis shows online, but cited its drawbacks.“IfI had TiVo, I would get cable. I watch online,and it does stink because for live things, likethe Super Bowl, you have to go to someone’shouse.”Additionally, some female Millennials cited asocial pressure to have it:“I feel like I can honestlydo without cable, but myroommates like it, and Ilike the comfort of beingable to turn it on and justflip through channels andnot really care, just watchwhatever’s on.”We won’t completely cut cable from our livesand advertisers should understand that cablemay no longer be an option if we choose tonot bundle our services.But we may continue to pay for cable if wethink it’s quality. Despite differences in cableusage, some networks and shows are a hugedraw to Millennials. Popular ones that werementioned across focus groups include HBO’sGame ofThrones,AMC’s TheWalking Dead, aswell as certain genres, such as serial dramasand comedies. Character development anda connection to the plot was a commonreason to keep coming back to these shows.“I like you can talk about the characters as ifyou know them,” a Millennial female said in afocus group.“It makes you want to know whathappens to them.”PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonMulti-media viewing of tv content 49
  51. 51. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonQuestion:What types of behaviors occur duringmulti-screen viewing?Having it all on one screen is especially appealing for Millennials, and this changes ourmultitasking. Laptop manufacturers have offered bigger screen options so users can splittheir time between work and play. And smartphones are offering Pop Up Play to allow us todo other things without interrupting video. This integration and seamless play is important(YPulse, 2012). For our generation, the second screen is often the same as the first, as moreopt to not own a television, as the simplicity to multitask without multipledevices is appealing.Multi-media viewing of tv content50
  52. 52. EntertainmentThrough EngagementWe feel a constant pull to talk about ourshows online and with friends, as televisionhas become more applicable to talk abouton social media. As one Millennial femalesaid,“A lot of my friends are watchingand constantly talking about The Bacheloronline, you almost don’t have to watchthe show because there will be peopletalking about it online.” Other focus groupparticipants mentioned following theirshows on social media, including Facebookand Twitter.The reasons include wantingto know the show schedule, and findingextra related content. Social media wasalso a great way to reconnect with showsthat already ended their run. As oneMillennial male said about following Seinfeldand Friends on Facebook,“I like seeingscreenshots of past episodes with funnylittle quotes. It’s kind of fun to be remindedof some of the better moments.”Distraction by DevicesHowever, social media and technologycan often be distracting elements duringtelevision-viewing, especially if peers arewatching too.“I’ll be texting during the show if I knowsomeone else is watching, I’ll talk aboutit, not even during the commercials butduring the show,” said one Millennialmale. Sometimes, the act of watching ona television set can be distracting too, asit offers time for multitasking, said ourMillennial participants.One Millennial male said:“Well, if I’m watching TVon a TV, then I’m usuallynot paying attention.I’m on my iPhone or mylaptop. But if I’m watchingon my laptop, I’m prettyfocused.”Despite these distractions, we Millennialswill make quality content priority, andtry to sift through the media landscapesearching for the right shows.“I think theproblem with TV nowadays is that it’s sopolluted and just straight-up’s entertaining but it’s garbage,” saidone Millennial male, stating that he trustsrecommendations from his friends onwhat to watch. Others cited social media,such as their Twitter feed, or subscriptionrecommendations, such as TiVo, as ways tofind new content.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonInsightsMulti-media viewing of tv content 51
  53. 53. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaJoann AndersonAdapt Advertisements forthe Electronic ExperienceAdvertisers should understand that we getdistracted when we watch our favorite shows,and it is difficult for us to maintain attentionto one stimulus. Advertisers should findways to engage us while we watch.This couldmean partnering with television shows todiscuss content related to the episodes onsocial media or companion apps, or offeringincentives to Millennials to engage with showson social media, such as the ability to unlockexclusive online content that can supplementa show as it airs.Though some college-ageMillennials may not create their own videocontent, advertisers can still take advantageof their interest in other video viewing byoffering advertising content that is relevantand easy to share.What makes our generationmost distinct from others isthe use of technology: ourgadgets and how our videouse revolves around them.We Millennials are twice as likely to watchonline video clips, and feel content should beavailable to us when and where we want it.Though there was a difference in how collegestudents and older Millennials engaged withcable, our generation is more likely to havecable or DVR for social reasons.The ability to skip through commercials is thenorm, as it is all about instant gratification,settling for quick choices, and lacking patience.For second screens, Millennials are morelikely to use laptops over smartphones andtablets because of small screen sizes andprice. More viewing on the web, and moremultitasking during watching, have becomeimportant.Advertisers should find waysto engage viewers with messages that arecontextually relevant to television showcontent, such as aggressive product placement.In addition, advertisers should exploresponsoring companion apps with supplementalinformation about shows that are appealing totheir target consumers.Multi-media viewing of tv content52
  54. 54. FacebookIs the relationship with this platform changing as itcontinues to evolve?Is it still always open on a tab in your browser and onyour phone or are you spending more or less time?Is it as cool as it once was?Is there a different form of social media that istaking its place?
  55. 55. I am a Facebook-loving,Twitter-following,jobsearching, LinkedIn junkie who enjoysplaying my guitar as I learn through onlinelessons courtesy of GroupOn. In my sparetime, I watch my favorite show, TheVampireDiaries, on The CW website or HULU.During the day, I check my phone at leastfive times every few minutes to keep upwith my emails and planner. I usually checkInstagram during class changes to catch up onmy friends’ new posts! I’m a Millennial whoeasilly qualifies as a technology-dependent,digitally connected, mobile addict. Long goneare my handwritten to-do lists and paperscheduler--these days, I even keep my grocerylist on my phone! I never listen to radioanymore. Instead, I tune into the playlistson my phone or stream music through theSpotify mobile app. My smartphone is mygo-to for nearly everything I need to getme through the day. It’s incredible howinterwoven my life has become with digitaldevices. My smartphone has undoubtedlybecome an extention of my identity.I’ve moved several times lived in threedifferent continents, so Facebook is one ofthe primary ways in which I keep up withmy friends and family who live all around theworld. It’s definitely a more affordable optionof keeping in touch over buying calling cardsor stacking up long-distance phone bills.As a busy college student, Facebook is almosta necessity. I’m always logging on to promoteevents on campus, organize study groups,kill time playing games, or catching up withfriends. Even though I do spend a good dealof time on it, I hate the negative connotationwith term “Facebook addict.”Christabel BelonwuPHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel Belonwu54
  56. 56. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuQuestion:Is the relationship with this platformchanging as it continues to evolve? If so, how?The Facebook platform has changeddramatically from when it was establishedin 2004 and so has the way it is usedby Millennials. Facebook walls weretransformed into timelines,“likes” wereadded onto comments and Facebook chatappeared on the right side of the screen.These changes over the past nine yearsmade it possible for us to integrate thesocial media platform into our lives and havechanged the way we communicate, parent,study, teach, listen to music and even planweddings (Mashable, 2012).What it means to be “social” on Facebookhas evolved from posting pictures of ourfeet in the sand during vacations and whatwe had for lunch, to interacting with acompany’s page, creating fan pages formovements you’re in which we are involvedand being able to hold a group conversationwithout having that conversation availablefor everyone to see. Facebook is a partof our social media existence and it hasmorphed into a platform through whichwe organize and share our lives. However,because all of these applications andfunctions have been incorporated intothe Facebook experience, logging ontoFacebook feels like a social obligation tomany of us.Facebook 55
  57. 57. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuFacebookAs Facebook continues to try and harnessthe advertising potential of a medium thatreaches over a billion pairs of eyeballs throughorganizing and distributing information thatis posted by its users, a backlash is formingamong Millennials. This aversion is created, inpart, because of the number of branded poststhat now appear on our newsfeed. The socialmedia platform that we once used to share acollection of our moments and memories withour friends no longer feels very private.Facebook is not new for us anymore.However, as we grow older and our schedulesbecome more hectic, the amount of time wespend procuring content on our timelines isdiminished.We still use it to remain connectedtouch with our friends and family and to keepup with what kinds of activities are available tous in our immediate vicinity such as concerts,volunteer programs and philanthropic events.Female: “It’s not all abouthow Facebook is changingbut also how I’m changingtoo.”Female: “I rarely postanything, unlike highschool.”56
  58. 58. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuQuestion:Is it still always open on a tab in your browserand on your phone or are you spending more orless time? Is it as cool as it once was?Some of us are suffering from Facebookfatigue. According to Business Insider articlefrom 2012, Millennials say that Facebook isn’tas cool as it was and they are abandoningit in droves. More than 40% of Facebookusers ages 18-29 say that the time theyspend on Facebook on a typical day hasdecreased over the last year (Pew Internet,2013). Some Millennials indicated that theywere or have taken a break from Facebook.This may mean that they avoid using it fora while or that they actually take their pagedown temporarily.When we do take a breakfrom using Facebook we receive phone callsfrom our parents asking us “Why haven’t youposted on Facebook in a while?”Our friends send text messages pressing usto “like” their picture or status update sothat they can feel more popular. Facebookhas made an impact in our lives and it is hardto exclude it entirely, even if we don’t use itas often.This trend seems to be continuing.According to a recent Pew Internet study(2013), 38% of Facebook users ages 18-29expect to spend less time using the site in2013, Although most Millennials still usethe social media platform, there is still somedissatisfaction with the medium.Facebook account information is integratedinto so many third-party applications thatcorrespond with the interests of Millennialsthat it would be difficult to get rid of it.Everything from personalized music playlistsfrom Spotify to your favorite food recipesfrom Pinterest can be shared with all of yourfriends. As a result, Facebook has becomethe channel to the digital world.Facebook 57
  59. 59. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuFacebookMany of us have shifted from usingFacebook on our computers to accessingit via our mobile phones. So, the browsermay not be always opened, but it is stillbookmarked.When questioned our focusgroup participants about the applicationsthey use on their smartphones on a dailybasis, Facebook was always mentioned.This is because of Facebook’s ability toconnect us to what is happening in ourlocal environment. Events can be logged,messages can be read and photos can beposted. Facebook is seen as the socialmedia platform where you have access toall of your social circles at all times. Fromcollege organizations to high school friendsto distant family relatives, having accessto all of their status updates, pictures andevents allows for us to “lurk” or “stalk”what is occurring in our network.Male: “I have put somuch work into it, I cannever let it go.”Male: “I only useFacebook to keep upwith my friends fromback home and theactivities on campus.”58&
  60. 60. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuQuestion:Is there a different form of social mediathat is taking its place? What is it?Overall,Twitter is now ranked fourth among all social networking sites in total active users,with Google+ securing a surprising second place (Mediabistro, 2013).The Fortune Global 100companies also conducted a report showing the health check of various social media platformsand this report indicated that Twitter is the major driver of online conversation, which hasmade the medium explode as a platform approaching 700% growth. On the other hand,Instagram is also making its way to the top as it is fast growing. Only established in 2010, and asof January 2013 that it had 90 million monthly active users. Facebook, which owns Instagram,revealed in September that the photo-sharing service had passed 100 million registered users(Mashable, 2013).Facebook 59
  61. 61. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuShe Said...The female respondents in our focusgroups preferred other sites over Facebookand ranked them in the following order ofimportance:1. Instagram2. Twitter3. PinterestFemales told us that the reason for thispreference for Instagram and Twitter wasbecause these sites are quicker to accessand they are less cluttered with irrelevantinformation.Twitter and Instagram don’thave side ads or unnecessary things thatbombard their homepages.Twitter’snewsfeed is easy to understand, all we haveto do is tweet our thoughts and retweetif we like what is being said. Instagram isall about pictures and allows for us tovisually share what we like, what we’redoing and who we’re doing it with in asingle post. Pinterest allows us to createboards through which we can share visualrepresentations of what we hope the futurewill hold with our friends.He Said...The male respondents preferred other sitesover Facebook such as:1. Twitter2. InstagramIn our focus groups, male respondentsindicated that Twitter is far moreinteresting than Facebook because all onehas to do is Tweet and Retweet to beconnected to the athletes, celebrities andbands they idolize. Furthermore, they findTwitter to be more informative becausethey can keep up with the latest happeningswith their favorite sports teams and newsbecause their feed can be tailored to theirpreferences and location. Instagram wascited as having less clutter and the abilityto seamlessly “unfollow” people when theystart “oversharing.” There is a high standardfor the Instagrammable shot, and if yourpictures aren’t tugging on the little redheartstrings of your friends,then what’s the point?Facebook60
  62. 62. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuBoth the male and female participants fromthe focus groups indicated that they weremore interested in Facebook when it firstcame out because it was exclusive to collegestudents. One of the male respondents said that“Facebook keeps trying to do everything, if theycould stick to one specialty, then I will be moreinterested; for example, their group feature.”He explained that other platforms specialize inone function: Instagram with pictures,Twitterwith thoughts/comments. However, Facebookincorporates so much functions Millennialsdon’t want to be bothered to keep up withthem.This causes Millennials to lose interest, astheir voice is overwhelmed by the noise datathat occurs on Facebook.Female: “Everyone has aFacebook, even my friend’sdog.”Male: “There are no rulesholding back and you learntoo much about someone.”Female: “I have defriendedsomeone because theyshared too much informationon Facebook.”He & She Said...Facebook 61
  63. 63. One thing that is clear about Millennials: ourrelationship with Facebook has changed. Boththe males and females indicated that theywere more interested in Facebook whenit first came out because it was exclusiveto college students. Now, many say thattheir moms and grandmothers are also onFacebook. Is it still “cool”?Certainly it is not as cool as it once was.We still use Facebook and do appreciate itwhen a feature is added that makes our liveseasier or more fun. We don’t mind receivingads from relevant products. However, wedon’t appreciate it when Mark Zuckerbergdecides that we need a date with ads from adating website or diapers for a child we don’thave.One of the male respondents said that“Facebook keeps trying to do everything, ifthey could stick to one specialty, then I willbe more interested; for example: their groupfeature.” He explained that other platformsspecialize in one function: Instagram withpictures,Twitter with thoughts/comments.However, Facebook incorporates so manyfunctions that Millennials don’t want to bebothered to keep up with them.This causes Millennials to lose interest.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuFacebookInsights62
  64. 64. As the research and insights indicated,Millennials are moving away from Facebookand into Twitter and Instagram.We likeplatforms that are picture-oriented, easy touse and promote conversations.We wantto feel like advertisers genuinely have aninterest in us by providing an outlet throughwhich we are given the chance to participatein the latest trends.We don’t like theFacebook ads because it makes us feel likewe are always advertised to, but if you wouldhave the time to create a page with coolpictures then that can grab our attention.Millennials love incentives.We want to knowthat we are getting something out of it likea coupon, backstage pass or FREE STUFF!Because of how personalized Facebook hasbecome, advertisements that are pushed atus on the sidebar that correspond with oursearch terms are viewed as being “creepy.”Also, the over-saturation of media Millennialshave on a daily basis means that we don’twant to feel like we are always advertisedto during a time that we perceive as privatetime. Millennials reach out to brands onFacebook only after an established interesthas been made either through a salespromotion or an event announcement.The key is to get our attention and we willdo the rest by sharing the information witha simple click of the “share” button. If aMillennial is given the possibilty to engagewith a company that goes beyond “liking”a brand’s page, they will be more likely tospend time with the organizations thatare investing their energy into initiating aninteraction with them.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuFacebook 63
  65. 65. Staying RelevantFor ResultsMillennials appreciate it when advertisersfollow cultural trends, find out what are welistening to or what the latest viral video isand use it to capture our attention.We also like to be entertained. Advertiserswho launch fun games, contests or triviaquestions on Twitter and Instagram aregenerally viewed positively. It is importantto include a hashtag feature to get usinterested by guaranteeing incentives andbeing able to track the conversations thatare happening on a single thread.Since many of us are visually-oriented,creating better pictorial presentations ofbrands by posting pictures of new productsavailable during sales or sharing employeeprofiles so that the brand will becomehumanized is key. Many Millennials aresearching for specialized content.We enjoy“behind-the-scenes” details and will respondto companies that provide opportunities forengagement.PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaChristabel BelonwuFacebook64
  66. 66. StorytellingDo young adults want to have relationships with brands?What channels do Millennials desire to be reached by?What makes people identify with a brand? How doadvertisers disaggregate the brand from the technology?
  67. 67. Social media is integrated into my life.However, I don’t post every thought thatcomes into my head or share pictures of mydietary habits or the music I am currentlylistening to.... I prefer to stalk people! Whatis the new trend coming up? Who is datingwhom? Through social media I have becomea spy, a secret agent who gets to vicariouslylive through others without them knowing. Iam an information seeker; I like to know whypeople do the things they do. Why is Ashleyso into dogs or why does John Instagramfunny memes all the time instead of originalcontent?As a dual major in advertising and psychology,I find it just as important to track the impactof a good message as it is to deliver one.Telling a good story and observing how itis communicated to the outside world iswhat intrugies me. Good stories told bybrands who are trying to build relationshipswith consumers. This is my topic, brandstorytelling.Asia Martin-IngramPHD Creative Collective I The University of Georgia64
  68. 68. In the eyes of the Millennial generation,developing a positive relationship is ajourney that excites and has rewards forthe participants. But for advertisers, whoare ultimately trying to sell a product or aservice, what really matters is the type ofrelationships they forge with their consumers.Understanding how Millennials associatethemselves with brands and the differentmedia they use to interact with brands is key.Millennials are not thirsting for a personalone-on-one relationship with most brands.When we asked Millennials in our focusgroups about whether or not they wanteda relationship with a brand, they reacted tothe term relationship with hesitation. Whileadvertisers throw this word around whentalking about their brands and engagingwith consumers, for Millennials the wordrelationship is associated with humaninteractions, not with interactions betweena human and a brand. They told us that theydo form bonds with some products andsometimes enjoy being associated with certainbrands.They are loyal to a small group ofbrands, yet the term relationship seems toopersonal. Instead of trying to find anotherterm that best fits this complex association,we will stick to using the term relationships.Female: “I do not thinkabout the relationship I havewith them {brands} but I doappreciate that they are givingme another medium to connectwith their product.”PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaASia Martin-IngramQuestion:Do young adults want to haverelationships with brands?65Storytelling
  69. 69. PHD Creative Collective I The University of GeorgiaASia Martin-IngramMillennials are open to connecting with thebrands to which we have an affinity. However,most young consumers are not extremelybrand loyal.We are frugal, resourceful, andeager to reach out for second opinions beforemaking purchase decisions; large and small.Often, Millennial brand preferences areformed early on, as in continuing to buy thebrand our parents always did; but we haveno actual emotional tie to the brand. Evenhaving one memorable, positive experienceassociated with a brand will leave a muchstronger impression than years of methodicalpurchasing habits would. Although youngconsumers aren’t necessarily known for theiravid brand loyalty, social media channels havetrained Millennials to voice and exchangeopinions about brands. or products.A study conducted on young adults at theUniversity of Michigan revealed interestinginformation about Millennials and “brandlove.” This experience is often associatedwith loyalty, strongly-held values, existentialmeaning, and a willingness to invest in thebrand (Batra et al. 2012). Because brand loveoperates in higher cognition levels, advertisersshould strive to encourage brand love throughless tangible ways, such as: embodying andpromoting a sense of self-identity and creatingpositive emotional connections (Batra et al.2012). Typically there are only between oneto three brands that any one Millennial holdsat this high level of esteem.Social media provides Millennials withopportunities to express our brandpreferences and to interact with brands.We enjoy doing this if the interaction isentertaining or if it feeds our desire forpersonalization and instant gratification.There are some brands with which we liketo be associated. A company’s brand has toadd value when we engage with it and theseinteractions must provide that somethingmore factor. Sometimes this something moreis humor or entertainment, but sometimesit can be as simple are a coupon or discount.These things lower the financial risk we haveto take when purchasing something new.66 Storytelling