What Millennials Want; The “Friend Zone”

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Oh the coveted millennial nod of approval; very desirable yet not so easy to obtain. When it comes to grabbing the short attention spans of fast-paced millennials, you must follow one rule and one rule only: speak in their language. Millennials have different relationships with their products and the brands that they use in comparison to their preceding generations. Creating a friendship with millennial consumers takes the client – brand relationship to a whole new level. These loyal millennials will go great lengths to support and remain faithful to the brands that they love.

Although this may seem like a scary concept for some, it is actually great news for marketers. In the study, Hashtag Nation, Havas notes “Today’s youth are significantly more apt than their elders to recognize—and value—the role brands play in their lives.” While it can be a great relationship, it is a hard one to maintain. Marketers need to understand that they are now dealing with a generation that is much savvier when it comes to advertising and consumerism than their parents were at their age.


Millennials are far more likely than any other generation to believe that they can help a brand succeed or fail. Why you ask? Everyday there is some evidence that an ordinary person can have an effect on change due to the widespread use of social media. In an effort to keep these opinionated millennials happy and far from the brink of a Twitter rebellion, as a marketer you need to friend zone them. This is probably the only time that being put in the “friend zone” is a good thing, but trust us; this is what millennials want.

Here are some tips on how to “Friend Zone” millennials

  • Set the mood. Make them feel a particular emotion or bond over a universal human experience.
  • Help them escape into the good life. Reinforce the millennial values of embracing life and finding happiness by inspiring them.
  • Spark and encourage creativity! Play with memes, absurdist mash-ups, and artistic installations in order to please them artistically and aesthetically.
  • Spotlight pop culture. Celebrities, superfandom, and some nostalgia always do the trick.
  • Help them succeed doing less. How-tos, lifehacks and any other content experiences make them feel smarter and more accomplished sparking appreciation and gratefulness to your brand.

OnCampus Advertising can help get your next campaign seen on college campuses throughout the country putting you in the students’ “Friend Zones” (exactly where you want to be).

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