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The February Illuminator: The Millennial Riddle - Some Q&A


The Solstice Advertising Illuminator

One of the most popular topics of conversation and conjecture in today’s marketing world is Millennials and how to reach them. The problem isn’t so much that they’re elusive and difficult to define, but more that they don’t fit the old marketing models. The Boomer herd is thinning, yet they’re still the focus of many marketers. Smart advertisers are spending energy and resources to find their way into the lives of Millennials.

Who are they?

The lines of demarcation for the Millennial era are up for debate, but most experts define Millennials as those who entered the world (and the marketplace) between 1982 and 2004. Much like previous generations, this group wants to change the world. But unlike Boomers, Millennials are more about problem solving and less about rebellion and revolution.

Millennials are the only generation to have grown up with digital technology, as opposed to having had to adapt to it. This fact explains their massive departure from “traditional” media. They love experiences and hence are more receptive to brands that make them feel as if they’re a part of the process. Being treated as partners and co-creators, as opposed to passive spectators, goes a long way with this group. They are also big fans of authenticity and run from brands that try too hard.

It should also be noted that there is no “typical” Millennial. Over 40 percent of Millennial adults are non-white, making them the most ethnically diverse generation in the U.S.

Why do they matter?

Lest anyone think these young people aren’t to be taken seriously, the numbers will likely convince you otherwise. There are over 74 million 18- to 34-year-old Americans, which accounts for over 23 percent of the population. This makes Millennials the current largest demographic in the country. Just as important, they are fully aware of their power through social media and believe they have the capacity to determine the fate of a brand. This infographic gives detailed insight into this target audience.

Where do they live in the media world?

Millennials’ media consumption has created a major challenge for marketers. They are certainly not the TV and print generation of the past. In fact, 96 percent of the youngest Millennials (18-24) rated their mobile phones as indispensible to their daily lives, while television lagged far behind at 54 percent. Even the shows they do watch are more often viewed on non-TV devices. Free-streaming video sources such as YouTube and Hulu are number one with this crowd.

How do they work?

Even the advertising industry itself is waking up to the fact that this new generation has its own work style. One agency decided to create separate office space for its Millennial employees. Instead of forcing them to adapt to the existing paradigm, Grey found it more effective to accommodate their desire for collaboration and a culture of community. In response to the oft cited sentiment that Millennials don’t possess a strong work ethic, one Grey executive stated, “...Millennials are hard workers. They just work differently.”

What does the future hold?

This media savvy audience will only grow more important to brands and advertisers. By the year 2020, Millennials will comprise roughly 50 percent of America’s workforce and a whopping 75 percent of the global workforce by 2030. They presently spend $170 billion annually and are projected to spend $200 billion per year in 2017. Brands that find a way to connect with Millennials now will certainly reap the benefits in years to come.

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Shout out

Premier clients


Solstice clients Donlin Gold and Northern Air Cargo were premier sponsors for the 2015 Iron Dog race.


Shout out

STG sculpting


Alaska Crane, a subsidiary of Solstice client STG, is helping in erecting sculptures at the GCI Snow Sculpture contest at this year’s Fur Rondy.


In the Community

Pick. Click. Give.


It’s that time of year again. Consider using Pick. Click. Give. to share your PFD with Alaska causes you care about.


Random acts of advertising

Food for thought

Millennials do sometimes watch TV ads. These were the Top 10 most recalled commercials last year among this group.

In the Community

Spelling success


Sylvan Learning Center, a Solstice client, is a sponsor of the 2015 Alaska State Spelling Bee, to be held March 5th at the Performing Arts Center.

The Solstice Advertising Illuminator
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