Research: Think of Millennials As Four Distinct Segments


Grouping millennials together as a single group can be a costly mistake for marketers.

“People keep thinking millennials, millennials, millennials—but there are different types,” Max Knight, VP marketing services at ad tech firm Turn, tells Adweek. “People keep saying this word, but it can’t just be this big group.”

Turn’s research shows US advertisers spend 500% more on millennials than on other age groups combined. How it breaks down: they spend six times as much on video, 4.5 times as much on mobile and four times as much on both display and social.

Turn Millennials

Turn divides millennials into four segments or cohorts:

  • Struggling Aspirationals: 57% of millennials, they are green, healthy and fit but comparatively fiscally challenged, reports Turn. Marketers take note, they are open to promotions and limited-time offers.
  • Successful Homeowners: 18% of millennials, they are under-targeted with video advertising. Marketers should align high-impact media with an audience that’s ready to spend, says Turn.
  • Active Affluents: 17% of millennials, this group includes many new parents who love the outdoors, leisure travel and for whom mobile is the first screen.
  • Comfortable TV Watchers: 8% of millennials, Turn recommends dive deeps into the data because groups that display strong preferences may reveal unique interests that marketers can cater to more specifically.

Turn Millennials

One brand is targeting millennials as a whole by mocking the way they’re typically marketed to. The Bobble reusable bottle brand has launched a new campaign that satirizes clichés about how millennials are presented as self-centered, carefree and thoughtless titled “live for once.”


Its real message—millennials do care, and seek purpose-driven brands with sustainability in their DNA.

“Our biggest creative challenge was to make the impact of single-use plastics more personal and inspire a generation to change their behavior, without shaming them into it,” said Guillermo Vega, Executive Creative Director at 72andSunny agency, which developed the campaign, to Fast Company.

“We thought the best way to do that was to expose single-use plastics as a fading trend and reveal Bobble as a fashionable, reusable solution.”

Bobble cites research indicating the world consumes more than 200 billion single-serve bottles of water per year. In 2013, Seventh Generation added Bobble to its sustainable portfolio.

Bobble offers a sustainable solution to the 38 billion disposable water bottles thrown away every year in the US, according to its website.

Americans spend more than $15 billion a year on bottled water. Bobble retails for approximately $10 and every replaceable filter filters about 40 gallons, the equivalent of 300 single-serve plastic water bottles.


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