Pivot is a marketing conference for Brand Marketers who seek to understand the style, attitudes, technologies and preferences of the 18-34 year old consumer as they make brand choices every day
For the penny-pinching twentysomething the cost of chic is best kept low. Brands like Gucci and Prada reinforce the notion that a product is only unique if it is economically unattainable, but old-school luxury campaigns are falling on deaf ears, nay, ears that have already Attention Deficit-ed their way into the newest Chatroulette viral. A lifestyle product must cater to the lifestyle of its market, and our millennial lives center on affordability, stylishness and authenticity without a strong emphasis on factors like the age of the company or product durability.
In the 50’s the D.I.Y. subculture emerged as a punk movement defying mass-production. According to the book D.I.Y. Design It Yourself by Ellen Lupton, the appeal of D.I.Y. is practical and political but also comes from the pleasure of developing an idea, making it physically real and sharing it with others. In light of our recession, agencies can learn from this niche movement as millenials downplay luxury and incorporate creativity into purchasing patterns.
The LookBook campaign by embodies individuality, egotism and cost-efficiency by challenging users to submit photos of themselves wearing American Apparel clothing or accessories. Angel-head-banded hipsters sent in photos of their most creative AA compilations. Over 1000 inspired consumers sent in images and AA rewarded 80 fashionistas with a feature in their published LookBook. This low-budget marketing campaign succeeds in enticing Gen Y for several reasons:
It appeals to the DIY mentality of developing an idea and bringing it to fruition
It partners with the edgy, invite-only street-style site LookBook.nu
It shares the winners in a published LookBook distributed in 280 stores and online. Gen Y is full of egomaniacs and their plight for fame.
Another campaign in the do-it-yourself genre is for Kraft Food’s Triscuit crackers. Triscuit doesn’t typically scream trendy, but their new initiative teams with nonprofit Urban Farming to create 50 community-based home farms across the Country. Starting March 11th, Triscuit offered free seed cards, tips on starting and maintaining home gardens, and influenced community members to volunteer in needed areas. This campaign does not blatantly insist that users buy Triscuit as a product but instead encourages users to grow their own source of food.
Kitschy ad-production and a crafty undertone in the new Kindle commercial works well for those that embrace all things D.I.Y. The video incorporates cotton clouds and a cloth background to aesthetically give a low-budget feel which definitely covers the D.I.Y. culture.
Inspiring your market to fight the man, abandon mass-produced items, and basically deny all things you embody as a company, could very well be the slant needed to sell to the iPad frenzied, thrift-store shopping, fro-yo focused millennials that I am proud to call my people.
I am a designer, researcher, and educator. This blog contains thoughts on electronic, experimental, emerging media art & design. I also contribute to the Emergent Digital Practices, Humane Games, and Critical Toys tumblrs. I try not to repeat posts among them.