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Double Trouble: How do you engage the ADD generation?


Double Trouble: How do you engage the ADD generation?


Double Trouble is a co-blog of sorts, where Kate Edwards, managing director for Kontented, and Dan Pankraz, head of strategy, Asia-Pacific for Iris Worldwide, tackle a topic between them.


Kate Edwards, managing director, Kontented/Fostered/Intersection

Engage the ADD generation with personality and authenticity

Only marginally missing the cut off for this generation tag myself, this morning I’m up at 5am, checking my 35 global EDM subscriptions from HuffPost to Mashable and the discount sales at MyWardrobe. By 5.25am I have checked Facebook, snapped a quick Insta tagging the start of this article and fired off a dozen emails. I’m 32 – imagine what a 20 year old does in that time.

The ADD generation is the ADvertisting generation with an extra Dimension. They are no easier, or more difficult, to target than the wily Xers and Yers before them. They are merely more sophisticated and tech savvy in choosing, and avoiding, your ads. Lets face it: “Wow, I’m so glad <insert brand here> showed me that ad, my life is now truly changed/enhanced/more pleasurable,” said no 14-30 year old, ever.

So, how do we, as professional attention seekers, grab the attention of this ever desirable market? Here is a list that is really important, and that we use on a by the minute, basis;

  • If you wouldn’t publish it, tweet it, Facebook it, tag it, sign up for it or share it yourself… don’t make it!


ADDers are unforgivingly disenfranchised with boring, lazy cookie-cutter ads. They purposefully avoid talking to you <the brand>, and you <the marketer> because you are not saying anything that is relevant to their socially and digitally connected lives.

Last week I attended the Groovin the Moo festival, targeted squarely at regional youth 16-30. It was big, noisy, colourful and slightly crazy. Girls dressed to the nines, boys hunting in packs and lots of loud bands. On the bill was a lone individual who had a more pronounced effect on 10,000 people that day than the Dalai Lama has for prayer.

The ‘Ambassador of Smiles’ possesses no specific talent or training. He is simply a hyper-realistic hippie dancing to the beat of his own drum. You may remember Tommy Franklin from Channel Nine’s Australia’s Got Talent last year. The Byron Bay local has over 100 million views on YouTube, 61,000 Facebook fans, 10,000 Instagram followers. He now headlines music festivals where he jumps on stage and dances like he’s been shot through with 240 volts.

Tommy connects, and that is the Holy Grail – to really, truly connect. Never before have I seen a mobbing like this. Thousands of squealing young men and women lost their ‘I’m cool and at a festival’ persona while hugging and taking #selfies with Tommy Franklin. He signed boobs, taught dance moves and started a thousand-person conga line, stealing the thunder entirely from the eight-piece band on stage.

Tommy stands for something else – something bigger than the individual. He allows this overactive, over-reactive group of over-stimulated youth a minute off the clock.  They get pure, unadulterated pleasure, an intimate moment with themselves. It’s a meaningful moment that will be replaced just as quickly by another ad, hashtag or selfie, but it’s a moment nonetheless. This is the emotional space that we as marketers, storytellers and provocateurs must work in.

Tommy invites fans to ‘hug a stranger’ and ‘dance like no-one’s watching’. It is now 6.30am at my house. Why the hell not?


Dan Pankraz, head of strategy, Asia-Pacific, Iris Worldwide

Engage the ADD generation through lifestyle hacking

Today’s digitally savvy Millenials have been termed the A-D-D generation, constantly flipping and flopping between jobs, digital devices, having attention spans the size of ants and being brand flirts. It’s not surprising given they’re dealing with 60 million Instagram pics being posted daily, 200 hours of YouTube video content uploaded every minute and 30 billion pieces of content shared monthly on Facebook.

Marketers need to understand those born after 1995 have been forced to develop a finely tuned editing and curating skills to process the endless streams of content bombarding their screens. How they absorb information in the networked world has fundamentally changed.

Today’s Millenials live on a diet of quick fix information nuggets where their memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by hashtags, Instagram pics and Snapchat one-liners. When it comes to content they take a quick glance, sort it, and tag it for future reference. Forget multi-taskers. They are super-taskers.

So how can marketers engage the ADD generation?

In todays networked, post modern world, the biggest influence on youth patterns of thought and behaviour are their everyday experiences and social milieu. Their participation in the world around them is the key guide for marketers.

So the role of brands today is to ‘hack’ into and become more of an intrinsic and visible participant in the flow of their lifestyles. I call it ‘lifestyle hacking.’ Here are 5 principles for successful lifestyle hacks:

1. Design distinctive and instinctive interactions

Where milliseconds matter, moving beyond bland consistency, marketers need to focus on visceral, interactive and detailed experiences at every encounter creating distinctive and instinctive interactions.

2. Practical magic

Think about turning life’s pain points into little moments of pleasure and delightful discovery. More than digital utility it’s building in lots of sticky details. The Uber app is a great recent example of this.

3. Tribal identity

Baking in meaningful signs of tribal belonging and affiliation with groups of others to help frame their social identity is key. Our MINI #notnormal platform moved beyond the metal to celebrate the inventive relationships MINI owners had with their cars.

4. Social currency beyond WOM

Making your brand a unit of social currency, not just your branded content is the new centre ground for marketing. How do you always stay abreast of the zeitgeist and be part of the emerging shift to the collaboration economy? Online thrift shop ThredUp.com is kicking goals here.

5. Immersive connectivity

Millenials crave connectivity and they love 4D immersion. Why else would Facebook buy virtual reality company Oculus Rift? Look for new ways to create brand experiences leveraging accessible virtual reality.


So, it’s not easy, but the key for engaging the ADD Generation is the consider lifestyle hacking as a key tenet of your brands behaviour, not just traditional push or pull marketing.



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