Where I grew up, there was this park where young people got together to skateboard and play soccer after school. A kind of meeting point. When we were not in front of our computer or the TV, you could find us there, trying new tricks we had seen by Ronaldinho or Tony “The Birdman” Hawk. Sadly our skate ramp was a worn and rusty thing. Quite a contrast with the perfectly maintained lawn and flowers surrounding it.
Now imagine that your brand had been so cool as to buy us a new skate ramp. Kids in my hometown would still be pulling off great ollies and kickflips thanks to you. They would be talking about your brand. It could have made you locally super-relevant and engaging. As a matter of fact, I would be bragging about your product right now instead of writing this blog post. And it would have cost your company less than a targeted Facebook ad campaign.
Mountain Dew put it efforts in creating a bottle cap that’s also a tool for quickly fixing the wheels of your skateboard. Converse founded a free recording studio for starting music bands. These are fresh ideas and utility is at the heart of them. The managers of these companies are showing an interest.
What I’m trying to say: supporting and helping out Millennials is cool. Marketers nowadays are totally crazy about content as the most powerful thing in marketing. But is it that big a deal? We count down YouTube pre-rolls and skip it the second we can. We avoid well-made commercials on digital TV. We Like fun content on Facebook but we forget about it just like a goldfish would, 3 seconds later. That’s how we roll.
There has been a massive change that is best explained by using the example of a party. Before, the party was at a brand’s place but today it’s at the people’s place and brands are not invited. You will have to find a way to sneak in but bringing content won’t be enough, bro, it’s about having relations. Of course, being in young people’s environment means being online too but let thém do the talking on social media. You don’t want to be the party-pooper.
I guess helping out consumers is the most engaging thing a brand can do. For instance: don’t ask me which posts I Liked yesterday but I do remember which taxi company picked me up 7 years ago when I urgently needed a ride with only a bank card in my wallet. No need to say that young people are the most grateful group to connect with. A skateboarding kid has relatively small problems which you, as a brand, can easily solve and that will mean a lot to the kid, but when we grow older, our problems tend to get more complex. It will be harder as a brand to become useful. Teens hang on to their subculture, but adults… well they are just being grown-ups. So if you want to connect with customers, I’d say you’d better start connecting with the youngsters.
Being helpful is the new way to go, which makes me very optimistic about the future of advertising. Imagine how brands can make our lives easier. Our environment healthier. Our streets more fun. You’ll get positive vibes, extremely engaged fans and an invitation for the party in return.
So, what can you do for us?