Why Gen Y Doesn’t Aways Get Gen Y

Why Gen Y Doesn’t Aways Get Gen Y
SHARE
THIS



B&T’s favourite marketers to the Millennials, Brian Mitchell PhD and Evan Mitchell (Love & Wine and howandy.net), are back with their latest column. This time around they argue that Millennials might think they’re changing the world but, in reality, there’s more a herd mentality at play…

“Know Thyself” has come a long way from the Temple of the Delphic Oracle in ancient Greece. The Matrix movies emblazoned this existential exhortation over the door of their own wise-cracking Oracle. And Sense8’s trans hacktivist Nomi wears it as a tattoo, an indelible reminder of self-judgement and self-knowledge.

Really knowing thyself, however, presents specific challenges to history’s most paradoxical generation – which is why Gen Y doesn’t always get Gen Y.

The generation who demanded autonomy, independence and self-determination at earlier and earlier ages, lives at home for longer and longer. Half claim “economic infertility” while the other half are having kids much earlier than Gen X did. Idealistic social justice warriors grapple with the image of # slacktivist selfie-obsessed narcissists. And the generation that obsessed over FOMO (fear of missing out) now despairs at FOGO (fear of going out).

Generational paradoxes are what make Gen Y so heterogeneous. The heterogeneity of a generation, however, does not equal heterogeneity of individual tastes. So much social media has become an echo chamber, rewarding conformist thinking within social cliques. It’s harder and harder for dissenting opinions and tastes – and the wider perspective that comes with them – to cut through. Voices of difference are crushed before they get to express themselves.

Social media has become a magic mirror in which Millennials see idealised images of themselves and their chosen peers. This becomes self-reinforcing, and therefore more self-constraining. The more time spent on social media, the more compelling the image becomes.

So Gen Y don’t get Gen Y because they’re inclined to see the entire generation as a homogenous macrocosm identical to their peer-circle microcosm.

This is especially so in the case of those Gen Y-ers who stand as both taste-makers and taste-interpreters of their generation – those who work in media and marketing. It’s increasingly remarked on that these gigs are more and more dominated by white hipster males. They see the world through a narrow and specific prism – inner-urban dwelling, bearded with retro-tats, café-culture by day and hole-in-the-wall bespoke-spirits-bars by night… It’s a legit sub-culture, sure. How dangerous, though, to have this singular mindset increasingly influential in defining Gen Y tastes and creating the messages aimed at mass-generational appeal.

No previous generation came of age believing they held the sum of all human knowledge, literally, in the palm of their hand. This generational certainty, however, has eliminated one of the great sources of perspective and enlightenment for earlier generations – happy accident. Compare the limitations of Pandora-listening to old-time radio channel-surfing. Compare discoveries made flipping through LPs in a record store with taste-reliance on the recommendations of like-minded peers. Archaic library card catalogues revealed new books and ideas in ways a Google key-word search won’t. Especially since over time such searches accentuate existing tastes.

We can’t ever, of course, go back to all that. But it’s useful to be mindful as much of what’s been lost as of what’s been gained.

Or maybe not, for Gen Y anyway. They’re happy to indulge themselves in the notion that the world is precisely how they and their friends see it. They don’t ever have to think how limited their individual tastes have become – paradoxically, by the very devices, apps and platforms that should have expanded those tastes beyond belief. They can afford to conclude that their entire generation is exactly as they are in every way.

They have that luxury.

For marketers who need to read this increasingly significant demographic, however – that’s a luxury they don’t have.

Latest News

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD

One need only look at the Cadbury Favourites chocolate selection to know it has nought to do with industry diversity.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
m2m Drives Away With $51 Million Hyundai Media Account
  • Media

m2m Drives Away With $51 Million Hyundai Media Account

Media agency m2m has been awarded the Hyundai media planning and buying account. The agency, under Omnicom Media group, was up against incumbent Initiative and Havas, with Hyundai’s Innocean Australia handling the pitch process. Speaking to B&T, a Hyundai spokesperson said, “We’d like to thank Initiative for their sterling service over the last 10 years – […]

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up
  • Media

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up

Continuing adland's fascination with prison when it comes to charitable causes comes this latest trip to the slammer.

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners

Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients. The winners were announced at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries. Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, […]

Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour
  • Media

Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour

Eyeota, the global leader in audience data, has today released its latest results on automotive purchase intentions in Australia. The results provide a deep dive into what motivates the buyer and segments those into six different personas.

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA
  • Marketing
  • Media

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA

AANA's annual Christmas dinner and dance got a teensy bit more crowded following this announcement this morning.

QMS Introduces ‘The Lonsdale’ To Melbourne
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Introduces ‘The Lonsdale’ To Melbourne

Digital outdoor media company QMS Media has turned on a new premium landmark digital billboard situated in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Delivering a commanding presence at the major intersection of Lonsdale and Russell Streets, ‘The Lonsdale’ offers extended dwell times to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, impacting more than 2.2 million contacts per month. […]

Portrait of a woman looking through out the blinds. Office worker looking through window blinds
  • Opinion

The Lurking Brand Threats Facing CMOs

Treading on gardening rakes and possible alien abduction notable omissions from this CMO threats piece.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Susannah George
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Susannah George

B&T is delighted to profile Urbanlist supremo Susannah George who, we understand, is not related to George Brandis.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ikon Lands Avis Budget Group Account
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Ikon Lands Avis Budget Group Account

B&T chooses and recommends Avis and John Karandonis shoes. Hang on, that was the end of Sale Of The Century.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Principals Appoints New Creative Director For Melbourne
  • Marketing

Principals Appoints New Creative Director For Melbourne

Branding design agency Principals has announced the appointment of Pip Ireland as its Melbourne creative director. Ireland, who has been freelancing with the agency for the past six months, has previously held roles at Designworks in New Zealand and Melbourne as well as Moon Communications in Sydney. Principals executive creative director Simon Wright said: “We’ve […]

Pureprofile Unveils Next-Level Audience Segmentation Offering With RDA Research
  • Media
  • Technology

Pureprofile Unveils Next-Level Audience Segmentation Offering With RDA Research

Global media and technology company Pureprofile has partnered with RDA Research to enable further audience segmentation across its audience profiles. RDA Research’s geoTribes is a unique classification system that rivals traditional geodemographic approaches by grouping consumers into fifteen ‘tribes’ based on their life stage and socio-economic status. Clients are then able to better understand consumer […]

WPP AUNZ Launches ‘The Bond & Associates’
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP AUNZ Launches ‘The Bond & Associates’

Advertising conglomerate WPP AUNZ has launched an innovative new stakeholder and community engagement practice called The Bond & Associates. Led by newly-appointed national director and former Newgate Australia adviser Gail Morgan (pictured above), The Bond & Associates will provide a complete solution for both government and private sector clients involved in complex public projects and […]

MYOB Partners With Network Ten’s Shark Tank
  • Marketing
  • Media

MYOB Partners With Network Ten’s Shark Tank

Accounting software provider MYOB has announced it has signed as a major sponsor of Shark Tank on Network Ten, which returns to screens tonight. In its fourth season, Shark Tank continues its format of having budding business owners and entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the ‘sharks’, who have invested $21 million of their own money […]

Aussies Back ABC Over Budget Cuts
  • Media

Aussies Back ABC Over Budget Cuts

A new poll has found a resounding 70% of Aussies oppose cuts to the ABC despite only 7% actually bothering to watch.

Meerkats Test-Drive Dream Safari Holiday In New Comparethemarket.com.au TVC
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Meerkats Test-Drive Dream Safari Holiday In New Comparethemarket.com.au TVC

Leading comparison service comparethemarket.com.au has launched its latest TVC nationwide to announce its dream Safari holiday competition. The TVC – ‘Safari’ – which sees the meerkats back in their ancestral home ‘selflessly’ test-driving the amazing Safari trip that is up for grabs for one lucky winner. Narrowly avoiding an elephant trampling their picnic, an inquisitive […]

Women In Media Profile: Lauren Nicole
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Lauren Nicole

We'd like to say B&T provides a delightful high tea for all Women In Media interviewees, but it'd be a scandalous lie.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine