Many of our colleagues recently gathered in London for the PromaxBDA Europe conference. One of the talks discussed provided some insight into new data around Millennials, specifically on their hopes, dreams and trust levels.
For us in the entertainment and branding spaces, Millennials are important. Their tastes, interests and desires will directly imprint and shape our creative efforts, process and work. Depending on how young or old you skew this group, there are any number of key and actionable insights for media and entertainment. Our job is to translate these values into tangible creative and experiences. We interpret them in order to inspire and connect with Millennials in particular — and audiences in general — in a genuine and meaningful way.
According to the last Pew Research, Millennials describe themselves as motivated by the values of individuality, authenticity, optimism and integrity. At the same time, however, this group has surprisingly little trust for people and society. A scant 19% of respondents said they trusted other people and governments. This is not often seen in this way nor explicitly mentioned as a trend we should worry about. I think we should at the very least think about this paradox, and turn it into an opportunity.
How can people have so little trust and at the same time describe themselves as generally optimistic? In Psychology there’s a term called cognitive dissonance. It is a situation where a person feels uncomfortable, stressed even, because they hold two contradictory values at the same time. I want to prod us creatives into a state of “dissonance” because I think it will, in the long run, make us think and work smarter.
We shouldn’t be so sanguine about Millennials’ distrust because we are, in our unique way, functioning as institutions just like any other social or political organization. We create within the social fabric, shaping and distributing stories, ideas and values, into content. Whether we’re experimenting with the latest ad tech, native advertising or app, thinking about and understanding our cultural role, and the way we create to savvy digital natives, gives us a chance to work more intelligently and differently.
Talk about disruption. Listening to young audiences and consumers, building their trust and earning their respect — now that’s creative that I want to be a part of.