This past week the calendar rolled over to another year; so lately we’ve been doing some reflecting, some resolution-making, and some Advil swallowing from those late nights at the, uh, studio. In 2013 we did a lot of deep thinking and contemplation about our identity as a company and the kind of studio we hope to become in the upcoming year, and how we are going to utilize the talents and culture to help brands connect with their emerging generation of audiences.
Let Us Explain:
When we’re speaking of the emerging generation, we are primarily referencing Millenials, who are considered to have been born between 1977 and 1995. This generation makes up roughly 25% of the American population (which translates to about 80 million people), and is larger than both the Gen-X and ‘Baby Boomer’ generations. This collection of consumers wield around $200 billion in spending power, and follow very few of the traditional marketing habits that characterized earlier groups in today's landscape; due to changing social and political landscapes.
Why we Care:
We are living in an era of changing advertising tactics and commercialism. In an age where sociability and online sharing have proliferated faster than anyone could have anticipated, brands must adopt their marketing rules and tactics to better connect with this emerging generation of consumers on a more personal level than they have in the past. Since we work closely with marketing teams and advertisers on projects, we are always conscious of the great challenges that they face when promoting their content to audiences. While multimedia has always placed a product or message in the context of a narrative, brands are now producing entire short films that associate original stories with those same messages to cultivate a more personal feel.
2013 saw a huge surge in this new standard of advertising and branded content. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” was a gret example of this technique and the success that it experienced, garnering over 50 million views in the first month of release. The short film showcases a group of women and a forensic sketch artist who asks them about their features, and proceeded to reveal that many of them described themselves as less attractive than their friends did in contrasting scenes. By creating this video Dove revealed something very extraordinary about online users: They share content they deem meaningful and even contribute to that conversation. Without a social platform like Youtube, Facebook or Twitter to share and respond to content, viewers are forced to absorb the visual content that a brand produces for them without any opportunity to respond. While in the past, brands could only reach millions of viewers through self-promoted media buying, in which viewers could choose to watch or not watch. Today, users have the opportunity to engage with the content and messages in new ways that reflect a culture that values sharing and community more than the one-way model of communication that advertisers use to enjoy.
Another great spot that's a great example of multimedia for millenials that was produced this past year was Absolut Vodka’s “Transform Today”. The 90 second video creates a story from the various scenes of artists in the thicket of their creative process as they go from conception, to completion, to celebration. The video deeply affirms an artistic culture that lives by their own rules and enthusiastically pursues what they believe in.
While advertisers have always meticulously curated content through research, brand alignment and carefully edited material, they have always tried to quantify and summarize a kind of lifestyle that they hope their audiences will resonate with. However, the average lifestyle of the ‘Millenial’ is not so easy to pin down. According to an extensive study by advertising firm Barkley, "Millenials are not a distinct cohort-in fact there are six distinct segments," shattering even the marketers classic target audience approach.
As we step into the new year, we will begin creating multimedia that appeals to our emerging generation. We love a good story, and will continue to create the kind that connects with the denizens of a new age.