Life has always been messy. But we used to be able to count on advertising to make it seem less so. So many brands (especially those targeted at moms), used tactics that were aspirational, showing people what could be, not necessarily what was. But as we all know, Millennials are the no BS generation. They want content and communication to be a reflection of real life and as it turns out, perfection is not what they are striving for. Real life is full of tension and conflict and these are the very elements that make consumers want to follow a story and see how it unfolds. An exciting shift to “real” is on the rise.
So what can marketers and brands do to make their ads feel more real, and therefore more irresistible to consumers?
- Don’t Sugarcoat
Millennials in particular value authenticity at a whopping 59% and one brand that has been listening is Organic Valley. Their most recent campaign is based on the compelling insight that most women don’t “ Wake up like this”. It paints a very different picture than a series of Special K commercials from 2012 that showed women who seemed to have an endless amount of time to eat breakfast and lounge around in pajamas. We know this is not the reality and consumers want to know that we know. That’s where Organic Valley took their opportunity to be irresistible to consumers. They point out that even if your morning goes awry (which it probably will) you still can have a healthy breakfast.
- Get Vulnerable
There is nothing more endearing than vulnerability, especially for those who are assumed to be perfect, like Taylor Swift. Adweek recently shared statistics on consumers’ reaction to the Apple Commercial “Taylor vs. Treadmill. The famous star falls off the treadmill during her musical workout. This is the “National Representation” of emotions that viewers experienced while watching this: Hilarity – 36%, Surprise – 27%, Happiness – 20%, and Amazement – 11%. Another in a long series of wins for Apple in staying irresistibly relatable to nearly every consumer.
- Embrace the often messy Process
Research shows that 8 out of 10 Millennial consumers like to the see process and “behind the scenes” shots when it comes to marketing. Land O’ Lakes did just that this year with their “Add A little good” campaign. The styles of the spots feature natural shots of heating up butter, chopping vegetables, and home cooks looking for the right ingredients. The “Soup Kitchen” spot shows a mother and daughter cooking playfully in their kitchen. Not everything goes perfectly, but that’s exactly what’s consumers find irresistible.
Millennials continue to define themselves and the rules of how they want to be communicated with, and marketers are continuing to listen. We are all learning that perfection is often be the enemy of greatness when it comes to insightful communication, and that truly irresistible content is a reflection of what is real.