As a Generation Y’er, I was “lucky” enough to be in the first generation that was specifically targeted with advertising virtually from the day we were born. By the time we entered the public school system we had seen more ads than any six year-olds in human history.
Which, in turn, might be the reason we are so hard to reach. I believe that people my age have built up more barriers to advertisements than generations before us because we have been bombarded with messages from day one. Now, we tune out most attempts at reaching us by simply changing the channel, turning the page, blocking the pop-up, or putting on an Ipod.
The truth is, we have grown immune to most advertising advances. That is why the key to reaching my age group is not to try to directly reach us at all, but make us come to you. The web is where this can happen. Make an interactive web page we could poke around in and amuse ourselves, or make a viral video that we will seek out. These sites can still communicate messages like traditional media, but in a less obtrusive manner that would trigger our barriers.
The beautiful part about this type of advertising is that, if it’s done right, we will circulate it to our friends who will continue to pass it along, and companies can successfully reach us as a whole without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money in a media buy. Not to mention that the amount of time we will spend with it greatly exceeds traditional media.
Like this golden oldie that put a new Smirnoff drink on my radar screen (and all my friends) without them spending a dime on a TV spot.