I scratched a long-standing itch last year and taught a full college semester.
One of the warnings I received was to beware of the millennials. I was told they’d be lazy, disinterested, constantly on their phones, etc. You know the clichés.
Nothing could have been further from reality. Like every generation they have their own quirks and personalities. (True, they aren’t rapaciously ambitious like Baby Boomers. We actually invented crack because cocaine didn’t make us aggressive enough.)
I had three students I could put in any campaign at any level in the country and they would be stars. They were that good.
All the students cared about their culture, their society and their shared experiences. They tended to be socially liberal and fiscally prudent. Above all they craved authenticity and honesty.
In the course of the class we reviewed the classics of political advertising. They connected with the oeuvre of old masters Charles Guggenheim, David Garth and Bobby Goodman more than with the ads of Hillary and Trump. Why? Authenticity of message and of candidate. It was a valuable and eye opening experience.
My biggest takeaway is that if you aren’t connecting with millennials, (who will constitute half the workforce by 2020) the problem isn’t them, it’s you.