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Insight

(Thirty) Four Candles

A case for mindset over demographic.

My name’s Mark. I was born in 1982.

I live in a house with my wife and twin daughters.

The right side of my front room is reminiscent of life before kids (TV, sofa, Xbox, Sky+, signed and framed Black Grape album sleeve on the wall).

The left half of my front room is largely pink and full of toys and stuffed animals.

At work, I sit next to Alex. Alex was born in 1992.

Alex lives in a flatshare, spends his weekends partying, going to gigs, playing sport and having fun. All the things a 24-year-old living in London should do.

Alex and I are the same.

We are millennials.

Although definitions vary, Millennials are the generation born between 1982 (aged 18 at the turn of the millennium) and 2000. That gives us a pretty wide spread of people – 16-34 if my maths is correct.

It’s historically neat for marketers to pigeonhole consumers – people – into these demographic buckets. But what age ranges always failed to recognise was the differences inherent in the lives of people within that demographic.

Ten years is a long time, especially when you’re in the younger age brackets; perspectives and references on the world transform.

Last week Alex had to Google who Ronnie Corbett was, when the sad news broke about his passing. For me, the Two Ronnies epitomised 80s comedy, and Ronnie Corbett was an ever-present on TV. Our points of reference – in this case at least – are way-off.

Alex also can’t hum the theme tune to ‘In the Night Garden’, whereas I on the other hand…

We are more similar when it comes to our values, attitudes, and mindsets, and this is where the term ‘millennials’ really comes into its own.

Both Alex and I enjoy new music. We enjoy the pursuit of finding the next great record, and how that makes us feel when we share that with our friends.

We also share a love of sport; different sports, but sports nonetheless. The things we love about sport are the same; the excitement of watching a thrilling comeback; the feeling of exhilaration and satisfaction from a big win; the sense of belonging and camaraderie from being on the terraces (note to Alex: these used to exist before all-seater stadiums).

In this sense, as ‘millennials’ we are similar. It’s not our age, our lifestage, or even our life experience that makes us similar; it’s our mindset.

At Factory Media, we’re attempting to dig deeper, and scratch away the surface of these conventional categories of consumers defined by age group.

We know that there’s something inherently similar about our Kit Rich Dads (35-54 year old men) and our Electric Youth (16-24 year old men) audiences.

That similarity is the shared emotion they experience through their involvement in – both participation and viewing of – our sports.   There are huge overlaps that transcend traditional age brackets.

Young or old, rich or poor, Tory or Labour, PS4 or Xbox…what unites us as humans is our emotional response, whether that be to sport, music, food, technology, travel; even – or perhaps especially – to advertising.

Later this month we’ll reveal the findings of a new study we’ve commissioned into mindsets. This will offer brands and agencies the opportunity to plan campaigns based on emotions and mindsets, using robust data provided by YouGov Profiles.

In the meantime, for Alex. Enjoy.


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