Wednesday 13 December 2017

AdLib: Youths demand creative brands

Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Bobby Byrne, UCD director of rugby, Naoise Cosgrove, managing partner at Crowe Horwath, and Garry Ringrose announce deal
Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Bobby Byrne, UCD director of rugby, Naoise Cosgrove, managing partner at Crowe Horwath, and Garry Ringrose announce deal

Michael Cullen

Brand owners must see 16- to 35-year-olds for who they are as individuals and remain open-minded about their need to explore and seize life's opportunities while at the same time appreciating their need to get to grips with adult uncertainties.

It demands creativity, reinvention, mission, personality and passion, because that's exactly what young people look for in brands.

A report, Youth Culture Uncovered by Thinkhouse's Youth Lab, outlines what today's 16- to 35-year-olds care about. First and foremost, comes happiness - but on their terms. While 89pc of young people in Ireland are content with their lot and 76pc believe their lives are fulfilled, a sizeable number are stressed. From the 1,000 interviews, 91pc said they had busy lives. "Busy" can mean partying at weekends and paleo weekdays - they like to tick every box.

When it comes to life's passions, travel tops the wish list. Food is considered a status symbol.

Youths live and spend for now, with 41pc complete non-savers and another one in four putting less than €50 a month aside. For 16- to 18-year-olds, data privacy and cyberbullying are important social issues, while 58pc of 16- to 35-year-olds want a job that gives back to society, with one in two looking for companies whose values match theirs.

Job status and a big pay packet are down the ideal job list. As regards what influences life choices, friends, family and social media get pole position. Religious leaders, politicians, traditional media and advertising score badly. Somewhat surprisingly, men claim to be more influenced by celebrities than they are by their parents.

As traditional power structures disappear, there's no longer a clear-cut approach to growing up in Ireland.

With shared permission to break and make their own rules and delay many of the age-old adult milestones, 16- to 35-year-olds are hugely self-focused. Getting to what is generally referred to as "adulthood" happens much later.

Always-on digital is the lead driver shaping today's youth culture landscape.

Young people are more focused on the here and now and on personalised brands and services, as opposed to mass-market appeal.

Ireland's post-recession economy impacts on the youth mind-set. They are cautious with their money, spending less and earning money and shopping smarter.

Youths want "free stuff", brands to be fair and ethical and interesting by providing compelling social media content which connects and engages them. They crave relevant and entertaining brand experiences. At least four out of five respondents bought a product or service in the last six months as a direct result of seeing them promoted online.

Two out of three youths recommend brands in an offline space, normally through word of mouth. Folo - fear of only living once - is the youth mindset.

There's the conflicting tension of wanting to seize every opportunity, but knowing that they can't seize them all.

The report says the term Millennials should go, along with other negative stereotypes.


* Accountants and business advisers Crowe Horwath is committing €75k to sponsoring the UCD men and women's rugby squads over the next three seasons - the biggest-ever deal for the Belfield clubs.

Crowe Horwath is now 75 years in business. Founded in 1910, UCD Rugby competes in the national club top tier league, the AIL Division 1A.

In all, 79 current and former UCD players played for Ireland 252 times while at the club. From the heroes of the amateur era in the guise of British and Irish Lions Ray McLoughlin, Tom Grace and Fergus Slattery to more recent players such as Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien.


* Staying with rugby, Ireland's small and medium enterprises are urged to take a shot at entering the Bank of Ireland's Sponsor for a Day competition.

Two businesses get a chance to sponsor the Munster and Leinster teams at a European Rugby Champions Cup match - which would normally be beyond their reach.

Last year's winners were Acutrace in Lucan and Shannon-based CelgenTek. Ten companies are shortlisted - five from Munster and five from Leinster. Two overall winners link up with the interprovincial clubs.

The prize includes company logos on the front of the players' jerseys, pitch signage, corporate hospitality for 10 guests, a match programme ad, photos with the team and some useful media coverage for all shortlisted companies and winners. Entrants have until November 4 to submit.


* With the life and pensions season up and running, Aviva is for the first time putting its entire marketing spend online. The campaign comprises social media, interactive display ads and videos. A media tie-up with focuses on a mix of sponsored content and live blogs.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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