Millennials are not bad – and they’re not a marketing segment, either

Millennials are not bad – and they’re not a marketing segment, either

My new column is live at The Drum (with a bonus interview with Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman):

If your target market segment is ‘millennials’ or ‘baby boomers’ or any general demographic, you are doing it wrong.

So I was leaving work one day and walking to the bus stop when I saw a group of teenagers enjoying their after-school high jinx in a nearby Tel Aviv park. The boys had combed-back haircuts and large, metallic sunglasses. The girls were wearing halter tops and mom jeans with large holes.

I felt that I had left the office and entered a Bananarama video from 1986.

My fascination was half appreciation (“The kids are wearing what we wore!”) and half amusement (“Ha! Mom jeans were never cool!”). But truth be told, I think my feeling was a reminder of my mortality. One day, I will die – and these weird teenagers will run the show.

And that is what every generation has always felt. The World War II generation rolled its eyes at the long hair and bell-bottoms of the hippies. The hippies grew up and shook their heads at the flannel-wearing slackers of the nineties. And now I get to facepalm at the long-bearded and arm-sleeve-tattooed hipster millennials of today.

People mock younger generations because they fear death and act out of a subconscious defense mechanism as they get closer to shuffling off this mortal coil. People want to imagine that their generation did something good and historic that will always be remembered if the younger people ever mess it all up. People want to know that everything that their generation had built will not disappear soon. And they are jealous of those who have more time.

As with every generation, ‘millennial mania’ today is in countless news articles, marketing campaigns and other forms of clickbait. And the complaints against any younger generation can always be summarised as: “Kids these days!”

Read the rest here!

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