When did marketing to 18-34 year olds become so cliché?
I ask myself this question every time I see a brand, team, service or product trying so desparately to prove they’re part of the fam (Google it). Sure, millennials reflect $200 billion in annual buying power and there’s a big pressure on us marketers to catch their attention – but why are they such a difficult generation for some marketers to understand?
Happily, I stumbled across ‘This is a Generic Millennial Ad’ from the folks at Dissolve which hilariously compiles every overused – and many times unfounded – stereotype, slogan, buzzword and tiresome expression in a single three-minute montage. Check it out below:
The party shots. The specialness. The dancing. The artisan, bio-degradable apparel. Sometimes you just have to laugh and wonder why many are trying hard af (also, Google it) when making an authentic connection with this demo is actually pretty easy… soccer.
Yes, soccer. Millennial passion for our sport is not contrived, it’s focus-group tested every week in the stands / in broadcast and you won’t need a series of stock images to show just how much these consumers love it.
Nothing artificial here 👇🏼.
Or, here 👇🏼.
Or, here 👇🏼.
Or even, here 👇🏼.
If you’re thirsty (you don’t need to Google this one…do you?) for the 18-34 year old demo, here are some reasons to believe and motivations to take your shot on soccer marketing:
60% of Millennials became soccer fans prior to the age of 14. Soccer is truly in their DNA.
31% of Millennial fans have seen a soccer match in person over the past 30 days, while 13% have been out to the stadium 3+ times in that same time. Swipe right for soccer, huh?
84% of Millennial fans watched a match (TV broadcast or streaming) over the past 30 days, while 55% have watched 3+ matches and 33% have watched 6+ matches. Ah, those good old days when I was young, not married and could just watch soccer all day (kidding, honey).
Access. Access. Access.
Access to our sport is single most important fact – no longer can soccer be considered fringe to baseball, basketball, football and hockey in America. The Millennial generation has grown up with the internet (access to global leagues, tournaments) and have never known a world without MLS.
They love to kick it – literally.
These same consumers also grew up playing soccer. At the turn of the century, 9 million kids were playing soccer – more than baseball, football or hockey. Youth participation has deep rooted impact on soccer fandom and 46% of former soccer players say they are soccer fans first and foremost.
They’re open, worldly and inclusive.
The Millennial generation is more diverse than any other. Soccer is a cultural cornerstone in most countries around the world, and this deep-rooted interest has carried forward through generations.
To paraphrase younger fans, most feel “soccer is global, and global is cool”. 81% of this audience agrees that the international aspect of soccer is a MAJOR part of the appeal.
For the 8th season running, Major League Soccer earned an A+ for its outstanding diversity initiatives from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). The welcoming and supportive communities you’ll find in the stands at MLS matches are a huge contributor to the special, creative and colorful environment it delivers.
Gamers gonna game.
The FIFA video game has been a hugely popular and influential game since its launch in 1993. There aren’t too many Millennial boys that who haven’t religiously played FIFA at some point.
Their TV habits have changed, but they haven’t abandoned it altogether.
The hardware may have changed (TV —> PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) but viewing behavior hasn’t. Millennials spend twice as much time consuming media than older generations (11 hours per week vs. 5 hours per week) and there’s no sport offering more hours of broadcast action in America than soccer does. The opportunities to connect with this audience through broadcast and digital media are almost limitless.
They live their lives online, but they still crave offline experiences.
Millennials are hyper-connected and online all the time, but that doesn’t mean they are sitting at home twiddling their thumbs – they’re seeking out offline experiences more than other generations, allowing them to ‘life cast’ via social media.
Every year in America there are literally hundreds and hundreds of national team, professional, semi-pro, friendly and collegiate soccer matches. No sport – or concert, festival, lifestyle event for that matter – provides more opportunity for getting off the couch and into the action.
Connecting to a consumer’s passions is nothing new, nor is the idea of winning the hearts and minds of your customer. The roadmap to reaching 18-34 year olds through soccer is clear, proven and simple…making the most difficult generation for us marketers to understand totes (I’m embarrassed I even used that word, please don’t Google it) attainable after all.