Focusing on Millennials: a bad brand mistake

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Dos Equis had a goldmine in “The Most Interesting Man In The World” (sales tripled during the campaign’s life) and incompetent marketing imbeciles destroyed it. The VP/Marketing, reading from The Big Book of Marketing Stupidity, had this to say, “Our Millennial drinker has changed quite dramatically. We just want to make sure that the (Most Interesting Man) story evolves.” Well, it evolved alright… the “improved” millennial-friendly Most Interesting Man “story” was an unmitigated disaster. Then, naturally, they fired the agency. Finally, two weeks ago, Dos Equis announced they were dropping the whole campaign.

This is just one story of how focusing on Millennials have led brands to disaster. Coke’s new diet Coke campaign, aimed at Millennials, is sinking faster than a rock because Millennials don’t drink soda. But, somewhere within the layered marketing of Coke’s HQ somebody pushed through the idea to change Diet Coke and target Millennials who have zero interest in soda.

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The fuss about Millennials is mostly:

a) Marketing flat-tires bloviating about their latest fetish

b) The noise of editors with millennial kids who think there’s a big story there.

c) The pathetic youth worship of older people who should know better.

Americans over 50… -Are responsible for over half of all consumer spending -Dominate 94% of consumer packaged goods categories -Outspend other adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis -Buy about 50% of all new cars -Control about 70% of the wealth in the U.S. -Would be the 3rd largest economy in the world, if they were a country (larger than Japan, Germany and India) -Will grow at almost 3 times the rate of adults under 50 between now and 2030

-Are the target of 10% of marketing activity

Originally published at on April 11, 2018.

Written by

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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