Millennials are currently the largest demographic in the United States, comprising 23.5% of the entire population. Because of this, brands are heavily targeting them in order to boost sales. The biggest distinction between millennials and the baby boomer generation is the ability to differentiate between phony and authentic ads.

Because authenticity is key in millennial-targeted marketing, companies must find interesting ways to portray their authenticity. An article in Ad Age explains that, “brands don’t influence people, people do.” In order to create a successful and authentic marketing strategy for this generation, brands must act more like people. Here are three ways for your brand to be both authentic and interesting in order to appeal to the millennial generation.

1. Try Experiential Marketing
Millennials are drawn more to experiences they have as opposed to the items they buy. In fact, 55% of millennials are spending more on events and live experiences than ever before. In order for your brand to win over this generation, you must engage and intrigue them. Get people involved in your advertising campaigns by becoming more interactive.

A good example of experiential marketing was seen through Reebok’s recent campaign called, “The Gym is Everywhere.” Reebok placed pop-up gyms at 6 bus stop shelters in Colombia. Trainers waited there to encourage people to get moving and share their experience through social media.  This campaign allowed the public to engage in Reebok’s advertising. It increased brand awareness without being deceptive or bothersome.

2. Become Socially Aware
Awareness for social issues is very important to millennials. They want to help others and improve the society around them. In fact, around 75% of millennials donated to a non-profit in 2011. Incorporating social awareness into your marketing campaign will help display authenticity in an interesting way.

Clean and Clear recently launched an ad campaign called, “See the Real Me,” which addressed skin issues in teens. This campaign promoted natural beauty above all. With one of the faces of their campaign being openly transgender, Clean and Clear was able to increase awareness of multiple social issues at once—insecurities in teens and sexuality. The campaign as a whole showed millennials that Clean and Clear is working to make a change in society while also selling their products.

3. Show You Care
Because millennials can sense when companies are being phony, it is important to provide something of value through your advertising as opposed to just trying to make money quickly. Millennials want companies to care about others, but they also want them to genuinely care about the work they’re doing. As a business, you need to believe your own advertising in order to successfully get others to believe it.

GE proved to be a company that cares when launching their recent campaign called, “Use Your Ecomagination.” This campaign promotes GE’s new product line of better performing and environmentally friendly products. Along with the launch of these new products, Ecomagination has focused on GE’s use of renewable energy and their efforts to reduce carbon emissions. GE is selling products while also changing internally to make a real difference.

In order to successfully market to millennials, your company needs to find interesting ways to be authentic. Millennials want brands to contribute to society in a positive way. Do you need help coming up with an interesting and authentic way to appeal to millennials? Here at Harmon Group, we can help you brainstorm a strategy. Contact us today.

If you want to know more about what we can do for your brand or business, contact us.