As brands look to shed millennial track, ad strategy to go for an overhaul

The first few months are going to be hardest for public spaces, restaurants, movie theatres and travel
Loop back to just a few months ago and the word ‘millennial’ would pop out of almost every ad strategy and campaign note. From beauty products to consumer durables and food and entertainment, marketers were so focused on bringing the millennial consumer on board that there was little else that influenced their choice of a campaign, brand ambassador or social media activation. That framework is well and truly broken say senior marketing professionals and advertisers need to find themselves a new script.

Sameer Shukla, West market leader, South Asia, Nielsen Global Connect says that there is no country that Indian brands can model their response on. “It (Consumption patterns in India) has jumped several phases on the behavior thresholds, it is at stage five and the only country that we can look at is China,” he said. 


The China model does not work that well because as several marketers have pointed out, Indian consumers behave and buy differently from their counterparts in the neighbourhood. According to the Nielsen report, discretionary spends will drop, health and hygiene along with financial security will play a big role in consumption decisions, consumers will get even more conscious about quality and source of produce.

Priya Lobo, CEO, Ormax Consumer Compass, one of the old marketing and consumer behavior research agencies in Mumbai says that no one is thinking of millennial buyers any more. She foresees a sharp shift towards the family as a consumer unit.

Shukla says that there seems to be a near unanimous understanding that the shared economy—be it shared mobility, rental furniture, co-living spaces—will shrink. However many companies are still working out the ways in which this will map into the other overwhelming consumer behavior trends that have emerged in the lockdown—frugality, environment consciousness and a desire to be more mindful of consumption.


The first few months are going to be hardest for public spaces, restaurants, movie theatres and travel. 

The Nielsen report said that 64 per cent intend to spend less on restaurant and movie theatre visits, more than 54 per cent plan to decrease spends on automobiles. How do brands keep the flame burning in the new world? Lobo believes that many brands will appeal to family values and to the women in the household as trust building will be paramount as will be mindful expenditure.

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