My name is Carl E Dickinson and I am a Sports Promotions and Marketing student from the University of Huddersfield. I have been lucky enough to spend 4 months now working on a placement with SHARP.And I’ve seen first hand how brands approach Gen Y.

What brands need to understand about GenY is that we are not all the same. We have different likes and dislikes and have different aspirations in life. When a brand understands this, they will make more of an impact on our age group. Brands should spend more time listening to our age group. This would make sure they’re spending their marketing budget more effectively on campaigns that are getting to the right Target audience. This would in turn make our age group feel listened to and become advocates of that brand.

Brands listening to Gen Y

From Co-Creates that I have taken part in with SHARP. I have seen that brands that have relevance in their advertising and tell stories are the adverts that our generation talks about. They have more of a lasting effect on us. The brands that take more risks and are unique and are different in their approach are the brands we like! As a consumer I like brands that make viral adverts that I can pass and share to my friends. A good example of this was Coca Cola with their Christmas wrapping paper dispenser billboard. They filmed people taking free rolls of wrapping paper in shopping centers around the world. Something this simple was a nice thing to share and talk about which was something the brand wanted to happen.

Coca Cola was mentioned in our Co – Creates with their Happiness campaign. That saw Coca Cola placing drinks machines in various random locations around the world and giving out free drinks and filming people’s reactions. Because this was again shareable it related to us tech savvy Gen Y. The main thing that needs to be done to get our attention is to not advertise to us like their selling to us! For me if I know a brand is just selling to me in an advert then I wont pay much attention to it. Brands need to see that if we like a brands communication were more likely to buy from it. … As the meerkat would say simples!

Gen Y’ers worst experiences with Brands


How come even though it’s your money you never feel like it’s actually yours? .

My experience with banks as you can tell is a bit negative. I decided to get a car last year to be more independent. Like many Gen Y who have decided to invest in their first car or first house I struggled with money. I went to my bank for financial help and they turned me down. Thanks for your help! …. Where is a Gen Y that’s trying to pay for his first major investment in his life supposed to go for help? It was my first financial situation and I felt not completely happy with how my bank had treated me. Because of the banking sector not listening to this age group is there any wonder why there has been a rise in more people turning to the Payday loan sector with over 30% of the number one payday loan companies’ customers being Gen Y. The source being OpenWonga.

In Conclusion what brands need to do to get our attention is:

  • Be more relevant with their advertising campaigns
  • Listen to us (as you see on our social networks we want to be heard!)
  • Actually care about our needs and concerns
  • Talk to us as an individual not as a stereotype
  • Understand that we love to shout about brands both positively and negatively.

My Favourite brand campaigns of all time, do you agree?

Red Bull- The world of Red Bull –

Below are some excellent examples.

Image source –

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