The Swirl: February 15, 2016

Roses are red, violets are blue, and we've got the perfect sweetheart candies for you. That's right - Valentine's Day treats just for ad peeps. Still feeling the love? Check them out here, then hurry back for this week's top industry news. In this edition: the truth about millennials, cultural trends, and the Twitter bird, too. Plus - how you can get more creative... and no, we don't mean grow a beard.


"A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."
-Henry Ford  


If you think the millennial fad is going to die out, think again. Why? Because Gen Y is no longer just an audience; they are agents for change. And there's more to them than this. They're rational, entrepreneurial, and most importantly, resistant to traditional marketing. Brands that try to sell will only lose credibility. Instead, dig deeper into personal values, understand their stressors, and micro-target for a start. Learn more about them here. YOLO. 


Millennials are not your average consumer. They're hard to get and easy to lose. If brands really want to attract this group, they are going to have to walk away from proven methods and embrace a more agile approach. Connecting with them isn't enough - you have to learn how to be like them. If you can do that, they'll most likely be calling you bae


Micro-targeting. Whether it's millennials or boomers, each generation has unique traits worth examining on a deeper level. And - you can never make the assumption that they're all the same because we live in a world where personalization and customization is expected.


While we're on the topic of agility, it's fitting to mention the explosion of brands that are making changes to keep up with cultural trends. Themes like transparency and inclusivity are rapidly replacing one-dimensional approaches. Dove was one of the first to make this move with their Real Beauty Campaign, but over the past few months, brands like Axe, Lego, and Mattel Barbiehave decided to follow their lead. Think broader definitions of masculinity, disabled minifigures, and curvier dolls. These few are only telling of what's to come.


It's clear that younger generations are starting to shape the future, and cultural trends are forcing brands to shift from their traditional approaches as they look forward. Even luxury brands are having to sacrifice exclusivity to appeal to new markets today. It's all about the consumers and this year, they are asking for more. Key themes include transparency and purpose, and reexamining brands through this lens will probably be worth it.


2016. This is a year for change as brands try to find a bigger purpose. Product attributes are one thing, but what you stand for is another. Finding a unique space in this sphere of 'doing good' is a top priority as we ring in the new year. See ya 2015.


Twitter is changing things up. We first saw branded emojis, then GIF testing, and now the most crazy of all: curated timelines. You heard me. The popular social media platform is now using an algorithm that reorders users' timelines with tweets they predict will be interesting and relevant to them. The initial reaction was to say hasta la vista, but Twitter is reassuring people that this is not an attempt to lock itself into a pay-to-play model. Instead, they're pitching the platform as a way to bring you great content that you would have otherwise completely missed. 


Don't say RIP yet. The feature is optional and will not affect any advertising products. In fact, agency execs are actually optimistic about the change. Efforts to make Twitter more personalized means that brands you interact with will be pushed to the top. AKA you won't miss it. Insert smiling emoji here. If people stay happy, this could be Twitter's big break in a time of serious social competition. TBD. 


Peeps interested in social. Especially when it comes to brands and how they can reach their consumers in the Twittersphere.


Ever wondered how to lead a more creative life? Check out this guide, or watch this Cannes tribute to creativity for some inspiration. 


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