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Six Ways to Improve Your Millennial Marketing


According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are the nation’s largest living generation. They are a age bracket that lack a long attention span; they crave experiences, activism, and constant connection. They are an age group that doesn’t settle, which means your marketing initiatives have to be a bit more creative in order to attract the right attention.

If you’re a business that wants to attract millennials, but haven’t figured out how, these are some of the best tactics you can use to create a relevant relationship between your brand and Generation Y.

Know what you’re after. If you’re confused about your business goals, your customers are just as confused. The millennial generation wants to associate with brands that are just as confident and deep-rooted in its values as they are. Developing an understanding of your industry and knowing what your product can do for the millennial consumer is half the battle.

Market where the millennials are. Generation Y are consistently connected. If a portion of your marketing dollars aren’t invested in a responsive website and mobile ads, your chances of reaching your target audience are minimal. Responsive websites make sure your web page displays optimally on all platforms, ensuring they’re always user-friendly.

Speak their language. During the 50′s and 60′s, marketers spoke to the consumer’s desire to go against authorities – the need to “stick it to the man.” Today’s millennials aren’t so much about resisting authority, but instead solving the problems the authority presents. Pay attention to the causes your audience cares about, but be careful about getting too political or too opinionated. You want to entice your audience with ways that they can help, not scare them away by presenting harsh criticisms or challenging positions.

Create a friendship. Millennials don’t want to be treated like a consumer; they want to be addressed as an equal. This generation of shoppers tend to be loyal to a product or service if they can adopt everything the brand represents. Create a relatable culture for your consumer and they will come.

Be transparent. Information is all too easy to access, making it vital for companies to be as open and honest as possible. If something goes awry (with the production of a product for example), you can bet it’s going to be covered on a number of media outlets that millennials pay close attention to. This generation may dislike what’s happened, but a brand that is real with their consumer is a brand that stands a better chance of keeping that individual as a customer.

Offer an experience. Millennials love being a part of something. Brands that create experiences for their audiences succeed with the millennial market. Look at Budweiser’s campaign to find the golden beer can. They’re playing on the nostalgia of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (a movie nearly every millennial has seen) and the advent of winning a prize. Regardless, everyone’s a winner because they’re getting what they want (a case of beer) with the added bonus of possibly winning a prize.

This guest post was written by Chloe Rapp from [ 2 one 5 ] Creative, a Philadelphia web design and branding company.

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Six Ways to Improve Your Millennial Marketing

Recap: The Best of SXSW 2017


Slowly becoming famous for being the Comic-Con of short films, movies, music, and talks on a variety of topics, SXSW has ended, but not without a recap of the best moments. From politics to technology, and numerous other topics of conversation, the event offered something for everyone.

Celebrating the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries, SXSW happens yearly to help creative people achieve their goals. The event educates and inspires people on a variety of topics. If you couldn’t make it this year, but still want to know about the highlights, please read on.

Movies And TV Shows

Thousands visit SXSW for its incredible insight into what the film industry is concocting for the year to come. In the past, films such as Furious 7 and Trainwreck hit the screens in Austin before being screened in cinemas across the country. Because I can’t go through all the amazing films and TV shows from this years, here’s some of the top rated shows from the event:

  • The Disaster Artist: James Franco’s performance in The Disaster Artist has received incredible reviews since its debut at SXSW. The film is based on a non-fictional book, The Room. Despite the skepticism of many, it has now been considered a very early contender for the Oscars of this year.
  • Song To Song: Song To Song stars Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, and Ryan Gosling, and is a beautiful, musically-themed puzzle set in Austin, something that surely made the audience feel very much part of the film.
  • Dear White People: Dear White People felt like it resonated with this year’s audience because of all the cultural and political changes the world faced in 2016. This Netflix series is a must-see, as it shows Ivy League University students faced with social and political injustice, activism, and cultural bias.

Film Keynote Speakers

SXSW wasn’t just about the films themselves. Film keynote speakers took to the stage, highlighting some of the most important questions the film industry is facing today. Some of the most prominent ones included:

  • Jill Soloway
  • Lee Daniels
  • Gareth Edwards


Music also made a serious boom this year, with performances of all genres from a huge variety of artists from across the country. Some of the most-talked-about artists from SXSW 2017 include:

  • Alex Napping: Alex Napping stole the stage on the first day, gently rocking the audience at SXSW. The New York-based band spoke to its audience with deeply personal and slightly groovy music that told a true story with a beat. They shared some of their material from their upcoming album, Mise En Place.
  • Forth Wanderers: Forth Wanderers are really the ones to watch out for this year. This 5-man band, led by 20-year old Ava Trilling, played some of the most memorable songs at the event.
  • Jay Som: Jay Som’s Melina Duterte took over the stage despite her small stature. Her unmistakable presence was one of the best acts at SXSW. The band combined incredible musical talent, with a great sense of humor, and the perfect amount of humble pie.

Music Keynote Speakers

Film wasn’t the only industry to bring in the experts. SXSW had some amazing music figures take the stage, not to play their music, but to share their views and personal experiences. One keynote speaker that stood out from the crowd was Neil Rodgers, who spoke about discovery and how he and others can, and did, make it happen.


Aside from film and music, SXSW welcomed a number of talks, panels, and workshops to the event, all of which shared their views and proven methods for success in a variety of industries. Some of these included, but were not limited to:

  • Brands and marketing
  • Design
  • Development and code
  • Government and politics
  • The tech industry
  • The workplace
  • Influencers
  • Social impact

SXSW 2017 was a perfect opportunity for marketers, musicians, filmmakers, and all types of industry professionals to come and learn from the best. Here’s a few of the better sessions I attended:

  • 15,000-Year-Old Marketing Strategy: Why It Works- The session explored the notion of storytelling and how compelling narrative encourages brand loyalty.
  • 100 Million People You Don’t Know, But Should- The discussion aimed to open marketers’ eyes to get them out of their bubble to further understand and sell to the more general population of America.
  • A/B Testing Secrets Revealed: Uber, Etsy & Intuit- The panel was about how A/B testing can unlock information needed to enhance conversions, engagement, and user retention.
  • Artificial Intelligence & Bots: Strategy and Execution- With bots now taking over the marketing world, it seemed appropriate to mention this 3-hour interactive workshop. This workshop covered everything from the latest AI technology to how to design and deploy a chatbot. There was a great talk by Rob Harles, Managing Director of Accenture Digital about bots with examples in travel and customer service. (Disclosure my wife works for Accenture.)

Julia Ioffe And Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone

Although SXSW maintained its focus on tech and innovation, a new topic seemed to dissipate throughout the event: how some tech has not made the world a better place. This was especially apparent as Julia Ioffe and Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone honestly discussed the rise of antisemitism online.

But, it wasn’t just these two who felt people should be aware of how tech can be used in a negative way. Other panels and talks included:

  • Kesha with a panel on reclaiming the internet
  • Yasmin Green with the rise of fake news
  • Kate Crawford with a panel called “Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fascism”

With the above in mind, it is worth noting that one of the most prominent and original launches at SXSW this year was an Anti-Defamation League Command Center for fighting cyber-hate.


As with every SXSW event, the music and film industries came in strong, launching a variety of amazing movies, TV shows, and albums that everyone will be waiting for with anticipation in 2017.

But, this year took a different twist to other ones’, with more being openly discussed on the negative impact of technology and the internet, as well as its advantages. With this unexpected twist, I’m really looking forward to what 2018 has in store and whether or not the audience from 2017 will take into account some of these new views and insights.

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Recap: The Best of SXSW 2017

Attend Content Marketing World to Be Rocked by Mark Hammil And Cheap Trick


Last year I went to Content Marketing World for the first time. Prior, I had been to several other content/social focused conferences and all are good in their respective niches. But Content Marketing World is really the mother of all things when it comes to content marketing.

Last year, the keynote was delivered by John Cleese which, as you can imagine, was awesome! How do you top John Cleese? It’s not easy but the folks behind CMW have done it. This year the keynote speaker will be Mark Hammil. Yes, that Mark Hammil!

If that’s not enough, Cheap Trick, yes, Cheap Trick will give a concert the evening of the conference’s first day.

So yea, awesome, right? But just like I witnessed last year, this year will also include some amazing speakers who are well versed in the area of content such as Ann Handley, Mitch Joel, Jay Baer, Rand Fiskin, Krintina Halvorson, Scott Stratten, Tim Ash, Susan Borst, Gina Dietrich, Rebecca Lieb, Brian Massey, Lee Odden and so many more.

In all, the conference will have more than 150 sessions presented by the best speakers covering strategy, integration, measurement, and more content marketing ideas you can use as you leave behind the old ways of online advertising and adopt the new.

And while, in full disclosure, I’m writing this in exchange for a press pass to the event, I can personally guarantee you will love it! (Oh God, I sound like George Zimmer from Men’s Warehouse!)

To find out more info and to register, go here.

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Attend Content Marketing World to Be Rocked by Mark Hammil And Cheap Trick

OMG! The Internet STILL Hasn’t Killed TV!


As digital advertising methods proliferate and morph, companies funnel more money into television advertising to reach viewers who spend 22-36 hours watching TV every week

Despite what the advertising industry rumblings might lead us to believe over the past few years citing the decline of television as we know it, television advertising is instead alive, well, and producing solid results. In a recent MarketShare study that analyzed advertising performance across industry and media outlets like television, online display, paid search, print and radio advertising, MarketShare found that TV has the highest efficiency at achieving key performance indicators, or KPIs, like sales and new accounts. When comparing performance at similar spending levels, TV averaged four times the sales lift of digital.

In fact, 2016 could wind up being one of the most profitable years ever for TV advertising, thanks in part to Super Bowl 50–which set the stage with its $4.8 million, 30-second commercials. According to Advertising Age, total ad spending on commercials in the Super Bowl from 1967 through 2016 (and adjusted for inflation) was $5.9 billion.

Super Bowl 50′s estimated share of 2016 U.S. broadcast network TV ad spending was a record 2.4%, double the level in 2010 (1.2%), four times the level in 1995 (0.6%), and six times the level in 1990 (0.4%). The big game followed in the footsteps of a very strong fourth quarter for TV ad spending, which, according to Standard Media Index, saw overall TV spending increase by 9 percent at the end of 2015. October 2015 was broadcast’s best advertising month since January 2014–yet one more indicator of TV advertising’s continued and growing prowess.

There is however, no denying that instead of the decline of TV, the conversation should be reframed that we are instead experiencing the continuous evolution of TV and viewership – as is the nature of life. Even with the many different screens and delivery options at their avail, viewers still enjoy television viewing–and the ads that accompany with it. According to The Wall Street Journal’s If You Think TV Is Dead, Maybe You’re Measuring Wrong, adults of all ages spend more time with TV than with any other platform. Citing Nielsen measurements, the article points out that adults spend about 36 hours per week watching TV, while they spend about seven hours on their smartphones. For 18-34 year-olds, almost 22 hours is spent viewing TV while about 10 hours is spent on smartphones.

When combined, these numbers and realities paint the picture of a TV advertising environment that’s vibrant, effective, and clearly profitable. And while the medium has long been bashed for being “expensive”–a claim that grew as cheaper digital options entered the picture–we’ve seen a strong resurgence of interest in TV across many different types of advertisers. So while banner and display ads may be less expensive to initially create and publish, the average click-through rate of such ads across all formats and placements is still a very low 0.06 percent. Also, 54 percent of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them, and 18- to 34-year-olds are far more likely to ignore online ads, such as banners and those on social media and search engines, compared to traditional TV, radio, and newspaper ads.

As Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP-global brand marketing and communications at American Express stated, “TV as a traditional medium is still important. When we run a heavy TV schedule, we see a lift in sales and product awareness. We need to run two weeks of digital to get the reach of one day of broadcast.”

Now, even though TV advertising is doing a great job of holding its own, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t play well with other, more “hip” and modern advertising methods and you truly need an omni-channel campaign to be fully effective across all platforms. So while it’s still the go-to player for companies across many different business segments, TV integrates well and lifts the advertising efforts for all other channels such as online video, programmatic ads, social, mobile, and so forth.

As a device-agnostic platform, for example, TV gives advertisers the opportunity to leverage over the top content (i.e., OTT refers to delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content) and other opportunities to reach their audiences across dozens of different platforms (e.g., cable, network, and independents like Netflix and Hulu).

The current presidential campaign is a testament to the power of television as a message and content delivery mechanism. According to Nielsen, voting adults spend an average of 447 minutes per day watching TV, 162 minutes listening to the radio, and just 14 minutes and 25 minutes viewing video on their phones and tablets (respectively).

According to the New York Times’ Derek Willis, nothing will displace television as the centerpiece of presidential campaign media strategy in 2016. “Television-watching adults spent an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of the set during the first three months of [2015]…far more time than people spend on their personal computers, smartphones, and tablets. And older Americans — among the most dependable voters — watch more television than their younger counterparts,” writes Willis in Why Television Is Still King for Campaign Spending.

There’s no denying that TV is still the best advertising investment out there but you still need to integrate a campaign across other platforms (web, social, mobile, etc.)– namely because response isn’t always generated directly from TV anymore–but by using solid analytics you can easily detect the “halo effect” that television has on the entire campaign. So while devices proliferate and the media environment becomes increasingly cluttered, those 36 hours that adults spend watching TV per week (and 22 hours for millennials), don’t lie- and neither does the return on investment that advertisers continue to reap from their investments in media and creative.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is the CEO of Hawthorne Direct. She can be reached at (310) 248-3972 or via email at jessica.hawthorne@hawthornedirect.com.

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OMG! The Internet STILL Hasn’t Killed TV!

This Super Bizarre PSA Will Make You Want to Do Drugs…And the Pink Undie-Wearing Bunny Ladies In the Ad


First uploaded in July of 2011, this super strange faux PSA of sorts has amassed almost 26 million views to date. Supposedly it’s some sort of anti-drug effort. But, all it seems to do is encourage strung out guys to have their way with a collection of super-hot pink underwear-glad bunny girls who, well, turn out to be something entirely different.

Because drugs.

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This Super Bizarre PSA Will Make You Want to Do Drugs…And the Pink Undie-Wearing Bunny Ladies In the Ad