Savvy marketers should allow their target audience to become co-creators of an advertising campaign, especially if they want to appeal to younger consumers.

Over the past few years, the marketing industry has progressed in leaps and bounds, with the internet and, in particular, social media use by the so-called ‘millennial generation’ forcing brands of all sizes to re-think their advertising campaigns.

Now, with marketing bosses struggling to win over the attention of young consumers distracted by viral videos such as Grumpy Gat, advertisers are being urged to bring the millennial generation in on any new campaign.

Indeed, according to Geoff Gower, managing partner of creative at ais London, while trusting a brand’s image and reputation to the whim of young, web-savvy consumers is undoubtedly a big step for a marketing manager to take, “being brave can pay off”.

“By giving millennials the opportunity to co-create, you’re automatically encouraging brand loyalty,” he commented

“By becoming directly involved with a brand, they gain a feeling of influence and control, while seeing that their input actually matters – thus this encourages them to continue to engage.”

As an example of this type of interactive marketing in practice, Mr Gower cited the recent case of confectionery giant Oreo, which offered young music fans attending a big US festival the chance to design and create their own cookies, a move which gained the brand widespread attention, both in the social media sphere as well as physically as people queued for hours to take part in the initiative.

Similarly, Urban Outfitters has moved away from top-down marketing campaigns and instead makes use of its online ‘community’ to promote the brand through their sharing of fan-submitted images of outfits.

At the same time marketing professionals are warned that ‘going viral’ is nowhere near as easy as it looks, with many overnight successes actually months or even years in the making.

However, if an advertising campaign does strike a chord with the millennial generation, the rewards can be immense as brands enjoy a huge increase in attention for relatively little financial investment.

Marketing to millennials: the rise of content co-creation, The Guardian

Posted by Robin McCrink