Angel Olsen, Young Thug, King Krule & Millennial Marketing

Angel Olsen @ Paradox 10-09-2012

I just finished reading three well written articles in  The Fader, </a>a music focused magazine. Fascinating articles really. All paint detailed pictures of young cutting edge artists whose appeal to their generation is easy to imagine. My personal interest in this magazine and these artists is of course that they are all part of that most coveted group of consumers; millennial’s. Everybody wants them. You can find many marketing articles and consultants who will tell you how to attract and sell to them. They will claim special knowledge as to what makes them tick, how they are unique to any other generation before them.

To the last claim I say BULL. Today’s youth certainly have unique challenges previous generations did not but in the sense of where they came from and the change they are dealing with it’s all a wash. In the 50’s parents dealt with the devils in Rock & Roll. In the 60’s it was sexual freedom, as if no one under the age of 18 had ever had sex previous to that point in history. It goes on. Young adults have all had similar problems throughout the ages; angst.  They are torn between the relative freedom of youth and the sheer terror of what lies ahead. yes the circumstances of what lies ahead change somewhat from generation to generation but the scope of the change is remarkably similar.

“In an article from 2013 Gloria Roheim McRae a Millennial and blogger on HuffPo after explaining why her generation was so different wrote

If you’re still exploring what you love, start somewhere. Just don’t stand still. Seek jobs, internships, or a startup where you can begin to build experiences. Start a business like I did. Learn hard, explore your options and fail fast. You will discover what you’re here to do. And soon Millennials, the misunderstanding will grow into understanding”.

Wow. With all due respect Gloria is giving the same advice many of me an my peers received in the late 70’s after our first degrees were earned. Pursue your dream, live, learn and explore. Advice which is absolutely dead on for anyone with no set ties, no family to feed, the freedom to follow their dream and the circumstances in their youth that caused them to move in that direction. No, Millenials are not magic and mysterious. Like every generation before them they just look that way through the lens of age to some marketeers. What do you think? 

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