Hi my name is Keith and I'm a millennial. Now this probably isn't the correct way to start this article but sure look, maybe the times are a-changing. I'm really only good at sentences with a 140 character limit, so working in social media advertising is perfect. To be honest I’d never heard of the word 'millennial' until I started my job, but the advertising world is obsessed with the word so I'm here to give you the low down on what we want.

Just to confirm my millennial status, I'm 25, I don't have a beard but that's not for the want of trying. My jeans are skinny and I run a fashion blog/production company outside my day to day (shameless plug). So around the office I fall under the category of ‘hipster’ or ‘millennial’, which I’ve never been fond of.  But I'm on social media constantly, from private to public platforms. I Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook, Tweet, Pin, Tumble, Peach. I even Ello’d for a bit. Social media consumed me years ago and I haven't looked back. 

So when it comes to brands advertising on social media, their strategy has to be solid. Two factors that win out for me are authenticity and good, clever content. A younger audience can see through the ‘offers’ and jargon. If you have a product, be honest and let your audience know the real benefits and negatives instead of driving a buy-buy-buy message down your social fans news feeds, just to hit a KPI. 

Brands take knowledge for granted when it comes to social media. For example, I wouldn’t know the first thing about applying for a mortgage, let alone all the documents I’d need. If a bank came forward with a clever social campaign to break down the application barriers, people would be more trusting. Instead they hide behind mumbo jumbo and rely on others to explain the process. These others are usually our parents who certainly don’t shine the most positive light on the banking sector. 

KBC hit the nail on the head. Tackling both the millennial and Gen X audience with a clever advertising campaign called ‘The Bank of You’. In their TV ad they market the Irish way of life in a way my generation can relate to.


The ad’s message was simple, relatable and also quite funny, pulling on real day-to-day events. KBC tore down the structured pitch banks usually deliver and replaced it with a clever ad that appeals to me. 

On social media, KBC uses memes and clever blog posts to eliminate all the banking jargon. They seem to care and it makes sense on the topics that I didn’t understand. Also they don't overtly sell in their approach. Millennials don’t like being over sold to, show the goods and tell them the facts is always the best approach. Check out their straight-up credit card guide here

KBC also give back to the community and hit you right in the 'feels' (feelings). As a millennial, I’m forever alluding to the fact I’m a very busy boy but in 2012, KBC gave youths the chance to give back to the elderly in exchange for festival tickets. So you did something good, you’d get something good in return. Incredibly simple, rewarding and clever. I would have done anything for my nanny in a bid to get Electric Picnic tickets.  


So before your brand decides to take a leap of faith into Instagram or you post your latest offer on Twitter #hashtagging #every #word #in #the #sentence in a bid to get the attention of the millennial market, remember to be authentic; there’s no hiding on social media. Once you’re authentic, your audience will respect your content and who knows, they might even share it.


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