Millennials face constant criticism from the generations that preceded us. We’re supposedly a bunch of lazy, entitled, job hoppers. I denounce these broad stereotypes. While this may be an accurate description of some millennials, there are other, more positive characteristics that warrant recognition.
One of the most significant, often overlooked attributes of my generation is our greater level of acceptance of racial diversity, a result of shifting demographics leading to a more multi-cultural population. According to The Brookings Institution, “Racial diversity will be the most defining and impactful characteristic of the millennial generation.” Advertisers who embrace diversity have a much better chance of creating campaigns that resonate with millennials.
Leslie Pascaud, Executive Vice President of Purpose Branding and Sustainable Innovation at Kantar Media, identified four strategies for brands to successfully address cultural issues: 1) Acknowledgement – Develop campaigns that authentically portray people from various cultures, ethnicities and walks of life, 2) Celebration – Emphasize universal values shared by everyone, 3) Advocacy – Confront racism and intolerance head on, and 4) Action – Develop and market new products and services to accommodate the needs of a more diverse population.
Naja’s “Nude for All” campaign is an excellent example of how a brand can bravely embrace diversity. “Why try to fit into someone else’s skin when you can shine in your own?” copy on the Naja website asks. The Naja campaign is clearly geared toward millennial women who demand that brands recognize them as individuals and offer products that meet their unique needs.
Brands that authentically portray diversity will be triumphant with consumers – especially Millennials.