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Issue 135 - It's a Millennial World

Whisky Magazine Issue 135
April 2016

 

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It's a Millennial World

How do we keep the new ‘baby boomers' on track

At the Whiskies and Spirits Conference in New York, the distillery companies and branding consultants talked about the direction of the industry and their respective brands. Within the first five minutes, it became evident that if you're a ‘grey hair', you don't matter.

From Ireland to Scotland and the USA to Canada, whiskey makers want to capture the millennial, the term used for the youth reaching adulthood around the year 2000. This group trend towards having the same economic influence as their grandparent's generation, the ‘Baby Boomers.' Heaven Hill's Andy Shapira told me that if you do not cater to this generation, your brand jeopardises a potential 30 year relationship.

As I listened to one speaker after another detailing why this generation consumes media at a faster pace than any other, that they don't read editorial – apparently, they play games – they are fickle, but not fickle in a way that's fickle, that they're driven by an across-the-board ‘social justice' that is not defined by a political activism or faith, and they're expecting you to back up your claims, I wondered about the whiskey. Does the whiskey matter or do they just want to ‘feel' cool?

For television spots, they're hiring male models with beards, tight jeans and flannel shirts to talk to young women models in cool and hip clothes. They sit at a picnic table talking, surrounded by flowers, and there's your whiskey in a cocktail or some other hip way of drinking it.

The marketers ...

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