Before ball pits and Instagram museums were making mainstream news, experiential marketers were carefully chipping away at strategies to engage the once dismissed millennial generation. Armed with insights that millennials craved experiences over things—shared experiences, especially—brands recognized a pathway for engagement through experiential programs.
The Case Foundation’s latest Millennial Impact Report details 10 years-worth of data on how millennials are deeply connected to causes, and how they want their companies to do good and the brands they do business with to do good, too. We decided to take a quick trip down memory lane ourselves to extract insights from our interviews with brand-side marketers on strategy and engaging millennials. Below: six years, six brands and six revealing soundbites.
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“If we want to win in beer, we need to win with millennials, and to win with millennials, we need to win in digital. We know that digital sells beer.” –Lucas Hersovici, vp-consumer connections, Anheuser-Busch
“Millennials value experiences over material goods. They want to be surprised, so the notion of not knowing what was around the corner was key.” –Alex Lambrecht, vp, Bud Light
“A lot of people think ‘we need to innovate in retail’ and they immediately go to a lot of technology and touchscreens, but consumers have all that technology at home when they shop on the web. In a retail store, consumers are there to have a much richer, sensorial experience.” –Ketrina Dunagan, vp-global brand and marcomm, Motorola
“Our target consumer we say is an individual that has the millennial mindset, and I know that’s a very overused marketing term, but it’s really individuals that share the value of connection and who want things delivered in refreshing ways, so we think that Tru is a differentiator in what those consumers are looking out for and we wanted that to be reflected in the experiences throughout the campaign.” –Tripp McLaughlin, senior director-Tru brand management, Hilton
“In order for people to impact their future, they need to envision it first. Research has shown us that we all—not just millennials—have difficulty seeing more than 10 years in the future. Creating an experience enabled us to spark that thought in the minds of millennials in a much more impactful way than simply handing them the results of our study. And what better place to do this than at one of the most well-known interactive media festivals?” –Niharika Shah, vp and head of brand marketing and advertising, Prudential Financial
“We had this A-List talent comedy with this high concept, which is everything you want for a marketing campaign, but we thought where we could really make some inroads would be in talking to that younger, millennial audience and thinking that we need to do some things that were a little off-kilter, a little quirky, a little absurd, and just a little bit left of the norm.” –Natali Johnson, senior director-marketing, TBS