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Creativity CreativitY: How important is creativity to Gen Y?

In times of advertising clutter, it is important to be creative as a brand. Well, generally spoken of course. But what does a brand have to do to impress Gen Y’ers? What does creativity actually mean to Gen Y? Here are some answers. Millenials grew up having everything at their disposal, and they found a way to cope with it in a creative matter. But creativity is not about creating an art piece or writing a poem, it’s about creating new ideas and new ways to function in everyday life. More than half of the online teenagers are content creators: they create blogs with content of others, share content of others, etc. And most of all, they create a mix of different things and styles (source).

And when you think about it, their ideas indirectly change the world. Think about youngsters’ social skills that positively influenced all communication on the net. Without such high level of social interaction, I personally don’t think Facebook would have made it this far. Miniblogs like Twitter and mediaplatforms like YouTube are also unmissable, even for other generations than Gen Y. You have to admit, User Generated Content rules. Thank you Generation Y.

But I’m not only talking about social media here. I also want to point out the importance of the Gen Y ideas on the music industry. Gen Y has the MP3 player in the pocket, mostly in the shape of a smartphone. This way of life changed the music industry completely. Music is digital, downloaded or bought on iTunes. With the introduction of MP3, Generation Y decided to download music into their pocket.

Even the fashion industry changed. Millenials have the habit to put different clothing styles together and create their own new ensemble. To Gen Y, It’s all about being creative in life, in search of their own personality.

What do brands have to learn from this?

In 2012, research revealed that ‘creativity is a brand’s best weapon’ (Smith, 2012). Certainly when you try to impress Generation Y. Brands should be relevant and interesting for them. Brands have to inspire them. And, trust me, it pays off. If a brand doesn’t show creativity and socialization, Gen Y will search for your services elsewhere. They want challenging projects and creative expression.

But what are the effects of creative brands on Gen Y?  Till et al. (2005) discovered that creative commercials help to remember ads much more than other kinds of advertising. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Some brands already got the message.

Case Tipp-Ex: Hunter and Bear’s 2012 Birthday Party

Who remembers this campaign? I certainly do. It’s about a bear having a birthday party, and with just one Tipp-Ex erase, you can enter any date you want. Depending on which date you entered, you see different videos based on true historic facts. For example, when you enter 1989 you see the breakdown of the Berlin Wall. Here Tipp-Ex, just a product used mostly by Gen Y’ers in school to rewrite on mistakes, got with the launch of this campaign 9 million views in only 2 weeks, got an average of 1 tweet per second and got hundreds of press articles and TV reports. Doesn’t sound bad from my point of view, being a Gen Y’er myself.

Posted in Insights