Week 1/2

Hey. Hi. This is my blog for a Masters degree course I’m in the middle of. I’m midway through the Web Design and Online Communications program from the University of Florida, and one of the courses this semester is one dealing with research methods. I will be posting about the reading here.


The first reading, here, is regarding the purchasing power and advertising to Millennials. Defined as being born between 1981 and 200, these people (disclaimer: myself as well) seem to be familiar with the internet, spend $170 Billion a year, and are harder to sell with traditional advertising. This isn’t really a shock for me, being one of them, I don’t really reply to traditional advertising the same way as my parents, I’m more wary of pop-ups and banner ads than my grandmother (spent 15 hours cleaning her computer of viruses once, never again), and I just tend to not watch as much live TV anymore.

This was reflected by the survey, most millennial’s tend to not be as affected by television ads, despite remembering them better, we tend to be less interested in traditional ad campaigns, yet when we do connect with a product, we tend to be much more involved. I feel like they really didn’t need a survey to figure all that out, and for me, the culture as to why this exists is infinitely more exciting than it existing at all. Millennials tend to be more involved with shorter videos, clips, and memes that don’t translate well from traditional advertising, and it’s no surprise that successful ad campaigns recently have used that (see Old Spice, Dos Equis, State Farm’s Mayhem).

But this is really focusing on the obvious and less on the more specific issue: ease. Millennials don’t want to read Moby Dick, they want to watch a gritty HBO reboot in a three hour miniseries. The phrase “tl;dnr” exists for a reason. We hate the effort. I want to know if advertising that makes things easy has worked. Not the “Easy button” from Staples, but things like Amazon’s “one click” purchasing. I can find a book, and push one icon, and know it will ship to me within a week. Insanely easy. Where is that in this survey? Does that affect the advertising?

The second part of the reading was found here. This is a site designed to find and rank the familiarity of celebrities, ideas, names, to people in specific demographics. Used to develop an idea of the popularity of your brand, this site seems like it would be invaluable to a marketing director trying to justify a raise, or an external marketing company trying to justify a contract. Knowledge like this is crucial to managing an account, but I’m curious as to the level of detail.

Sure, Chuck Norris might be insanely popular because of the Chuck Norris facts, but what about his beliefs on politics that make it out into the public a lot and may or may not hurt is brand? That level of breakdown seems to be lost here, but would also be incredibly difficult to figure out these days. Given how fast information travels and brands lose/gain esteem, how would someone go about accurately tracking that? Chick-Fi-A might have been innately popular for chicken sandwiches a month ago, but now they’ve gotten…entangled in something completely unrelated to waffle fries. That turn of events happened in the span of a few hours, keeping a running tally on all brands like that would be inconceivably difficult.


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5 Responses to Week 1/2

  1. Ugh, the mere acceptance of “tl;dnr” is the bane of my existence as a fanatical needs-a-12-step-program/intervention addict of books and high school English teacher! Of course, I’m a Gen-Xer (we have our own identity and apathy issues, thank you) immersed in myopic Millennial maelstrom: my own children, my students, and some of my grad school classmates (and professors). The idea that someone would choose what they read — and thereby learn — by how much of a commitment they are willing to make to a certain number of pages/minutes is beyond my understanding. I loathe what technology has done to erode the attention spans and appreciation of learning, and also nature and the outdoors, and yet I love the opportunities and possibilities it’s created, which has developed into quite a complex relationship for me. That it is so difficult to get the attention of Millennials and the intensity with which they become fixated, is quite the conundrum.

  2. alanyskpl says:

    I personally adore the Amazon check-out process but sometimes its also good to actually take the time to go through and double check you have all the right information. Our generation has gotten use to fast-pace spoon-feeding advertisement that we do not take the time to research on a topic very much anymore. Take viral videos for example: there was a video made for the KONY 2012 campaign and I saw Facebook posts all over about this video and half the people were reposting and sharing this video without even knowing what it was about. They were advertising it just to join in the fad. A lot of companies now a days lose their originality because they are too hectic to jump on the bandwagon of advertising trends and part of this could be the influence of millennials.

  3. Amanda says:

    You raise a great point about the “one click” purchasing. Convenience is key to a lot of purchases, especially those that aren’t urgent/necessary. Your comment brings to mind the Quick-Flow Checkout pattern mentioned in our reading for Advanced Web I. If users have an opportunity to mess up a transaction or to get distracted from the purchase, or if the purchase process is too cumbersome, users are unlikely to finish the transaction. I’m not sure if advertising ease helps businesses, but I’d definitely guess that sites/businesses that aren’t easy to use/navigate generate negative press all on their own, thereby negating any effectiveness their ads might have had.

  4. naseemspeaks says:

    You mentioned that Millenials don’t want to read Moby Dick, they want to watch gritty HBO shows, and do things that don’t require effort. Actually though, I think that the Millenials are a very educated group, according to the reading. I’d say they probably read a lot–but probably very a selective array of material–blogs, magazines, etc. Plus given that most reading material is done on phones, tablets, etc, people probably read more on the go than ever before (ever see a packed subway in NYC–everyone is reading or listening to music). As such, I think that Millenials do make the effort to read. Maybe this could have been included in the study–for example ebooks like Kindle have the promotional ads that you cannot turn off. I wonder how successful they are.

  5. Emily Davis says:

    I think you bring up a good point about how quickly a company’s image can change in today’s world. Information spreads faster than it used to, people are inserting their opinions and it’s more visual. For instance, what would the reaction be to the Chick-fil-a scandal pre-Facebook? If radio was the only means of mass communication, would people still have been as upset? Of course, but maybe not to the same extent. I’m wondering how much the WAY the information is being spread causes these things to snowball. Chick-fil-a is just an example of course, there are probably countless other stories like this. I don’t know, just a theory, but your post made me think about it more.

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