Millennials like food. They have budgets and care about getting value for their money. Millennials are busy. And they generally have a positive attitude toward potatoes.
That’s the conclusion of a study by the United States Potato Board, which represents potato growers and a sellers, and is trying to encourage the industry to adopt a "proactive and forward-looking approach" to courting younger potato eaters. Except that, after extensive consideration and several wonky charts, the report's conclusion ends up being that today's young potato eaters are pretty much exactly the same as older potato eaters. “When it comes to potatoes…," the report says, "millennials are not significantly different from the rest of the population."
Millennials, roughly defined as the generation who were 18 to 34 in 2015, are set to overtake Baby Boomers this year as America’s most populous generation. And they have become a huge target for companies, advertising agencies and market research firms alike. Unfortunately, a lot of their appeals to millennials are based on the idea that the generation is some kind of homogeneous entity that only speaks in emojis, rather than the diverse group that millennials actually are. And ad campaigns based on that idea can come off as a little .... awkwarrrrrd.
For a sample, we've turned to the reddit thread FellowKids, which collects a lot of hilarious attempts by brands trying way too hard to reach millennials. Here are a few -- well, 28 -- of our favorites:
1. Microsoft referencing dubstep, a kind of electronic music with a lot of bass and percussion
2. This facepalm-worthy ad campaign by Kia, in which the car company invited users of the website Cheezburger to create Kia-themed memes for a chance to win gift certificates in 2012. (Dubbed "Seasons Memeing," the campaign has become a cautionary tale for social media marketers.)