Last weekend, comedian Adam Conover was asked to speak at Deep Shift, a marketing convention, and was asked to talk about marketing to millennials. It makes sense, considering that Conover has become a huge star thanks to his TV show Adam Ruins Everything, in which Conover picks a topic (such as engagement rings, dog breeding, the TSA, and even voting) and tears down our preconceived notion of that topic. His show was bought by TruTV after his CollegeHumor web series of the same name blew up on YouTube.
Convover has his finger on the pulse of what young people like, so of course Deep Shift would ask him to talk about marketing to millennials. However, instead of resorting to the same hackneyed descriptors that media outlets use for millennials, Conover turned the idea of lumping someone into a generation on it’s head:
To paraphrase Conover, there’s no such thing as a millennial. There’s no such thing as a baby boomer. There’s no such thing as a Gen Xer. These are artificial constructs made in the name of marketing and book sales. To try and market to a generation as a whole is condescending and alienating. If you want to market to someone, market with what you like. If it’s good, you’ll see results.