Pop Quiz: How Old Is A Millennial?

by • August 27, 2015 • Experts TalkComments Off on Pop Quiz: How Old Is A Millennial?5352

In marketing, the word “millennial” is uttered with such urgency and ambiguity, you’d think we were talking about tracking down a mythical beast. That, or preparing for an invasion of mythical beasts.

Also Read: How Disney’s Nametags Outperform Your Best Marketing On A Good Day

Many of these articles “about” millennials read like Lonely Planet guides to a foreign world populated with unknown creatures.

If you spot a millennial, approach gently and with caution. Pay special attention to how it behaves and what it likes. The millennial has few words, so speak in smiley faces and LOLs (consult glossary). When attempting to capture the millennial’s wallet, distract with flattery and mobile devices. In short, just be cool man.

What in the everloving world is happening? And when did I become part of a generation that looks at the next as “new-fangled” and weird?

So, even as a marketer myself, I’ve gone along for quite some time just ignoring anything with the word millennial in it. Mainly because, from the way it all reads, I thought they were talking about a demographic that topped out at age 22. Not my demographic, so I moved right along.

Until, that is, I happened upon the recent Pew report that declared millennials had “surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the US labor force.” Wait, WHAT? So, how old is a millennial, anyway, I had to ask myself.

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And when I Googled the answer to that question, the moment was akin to that when you go to buy a bottle of wine and see the liquor store sign that reads, “To purchase alcohol, you must be 21 years of age, born on or before today’s date in 1994.” 1994? Whoa. That was the year I graduated high school.

wersm picture alcohol

Okay. So how old is a millennial? Technically, anywhere between 18 and THIRTY-FOUR. 34, y’all!

Remember Kevin from the movie UP? In Pixar’s film that had everything to do with generation gaps, Kevin’s species is the mythical “Snipe,” a fictional bird created to send foolish people on wild goose chases. Except it turns out that Kevin is real, totally misidentified, has her own family, and really likes chocolate. So, the mythical tropical bird is, y’know, just like everyone else.

Looks like the joke’s on marketers. For my part, I’m replacing the word “millennial” with Kevin in my vocabulary from here on out. As a potent reminder to not treat the world like the equally mythical grumpy old neighbor.

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Image courtesy of Pixar.

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