The Death of TV advertising. Generation Y consumers say: Hello digital world!

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As a prime example of the species ‘cynical consumericus’, or more generally known as Generation Y, I am here to tell you that mass media marketing is dead to me. A snarky and bold statement, but it is after all in my nature as a young consumer to be a critical know-it-all. So why do I dare declare centuries-old communication modes, such as the TV and the newspaper to be relics?

Quite simple: I am a mid-twenties European, who was practically breastfed with technology. From the age of five I could go online, chat on social platforms and/or write product reviews. I haven’t stepped in an actual library since Bill Clinton’s presidency. If I’m outside enjoying nature, I’ll stop every five minutes to take a picture, Instagram it, then Facebook it and add it to Pinterest. I interact with friends not through phone calls and dates, but through Google Hangouts. And worst of all, I share content and measure my social popularity through the number of ‘likes’ I receive. We, the 20-somethings, may be a narcissistic bunch, but we are a well interconnected one.  Which is why I dare say conventional marketing cannot get through to us. We don’t watch TV, we watch Hulu. We are not going to read a newspaper, we’ll open our RSS feeds and e-mail subscriptions and get the targeted news we want. We find comfort in the digital sphere and we’ve left our virtual prints all over the ‘interweb’.

I am a part of a community of sarcastic, digitally connected individuals, who have learned to tune out traditional advertising noise. The good news for marketers everywhere however, is that this same digitally narcissistic behavior of ours is also going to drive us to share our brand preferences with all of our friends out there. My opinions matter to my peers (and vice versa) more than a TV ad ever would. I won’t be impressed if you shove a billboard in my face, but if you are interacting with your fans digitally, that’s another story.

So dear Marketers, the key to snatching us up as consumers is through simply showing you value us as more than a dollar sign. We are co-creators of your brands and could be the best brand ambassadors you could ever ask for. All you need to do is to gently caress our online egos through customized consumer-led marketing strategies. Recreate one-on-one brand discussions, show us you hear our voices and this is how you will win our long-term loyalty. And if you manage to do so, we will follow your brand till the end of the world and back, guaranteed.

xo,

Teddy T

Where’s Waldo? Probably in Therapy

Brilliant blogger, rare and unique sense of humor. Love it!

Abby Has Issues

Patient Name: Harold, but goes by “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Session notes: Patient has possible abandonment issues due to lack of parental supervision after birth and has taken to “feeding his feelings” instead of working through them.

Requested he keep a food journal and how he felt at the time: 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries, 5 oranges, piece of chocolate cake, ice cream cone, pickle, slice of Swiss cheese, slice of salami, lollipop, piece of cherry pie, 1 sausage, cupcake, slice of watermelon, 1 green leaf. Said, “I felt hungry. I ate food. I felt better.”

Also made mention of wanting to curl up and hide for a couple of weeks, wishing he could emerge and be accepted for who he was—a colorful, sometimes flightly man with a love for Cher and the theater. Kept asking if I had any snacks.


Patient Name: Goldilocks

Session notes: Court-ordered…

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Meeting the You from the past. Oh, how change transforms us…

ImageHave you ever had the experiment of going through your Facebook photos and seeing how much you’ve changed, how you’ve evolved over the years? It’s truly an astonishing experience. It’s slightly narcissistic in its nature, but if you let, it can be the most life-changing picture slideshow you’ll ever witness.

I’m currently 24 and I created my FB account over 5 years ago. 5 years of cyber sharing, transformed into a collage of memories, situations, environments and people I met along the way. I was shocked to find my current self so different to the naïve little girl who posted her first picture (of what seems) so long ago. The differences between the past and the present ME are a reflection of life, imprinted in my physical appearance. ImageMy carefree smile and hopeful eyes both scream – I’m young, I’m free and I am walking towards my future with my head held up high!

What a bitter-sweet memory it is, looking at this fragile girl staring back at me from the screen. As if she’s playfully teasing me, asking where did that road she’s so eagerly walking on take her, who did she become?

And oh, what a long road it has been. Full of love and loss, excitement and fear, pride and guilt. I struggle in my constant attempts to achieve personal greatness, I rise and I fall, only to come out of the fire stronger than ever. I am grateful for my stubbornness, for my growing desire to peek outside the box, for my unwillingness to agree to the status quo and for all the life-changing and terrifying situations I’ve deliberately put myself into. For all of that I am grateful, because they have defined me as the person that stands before you today.

Take a look in the mirror and you will find every experience engraved within you, in that little wrinkle around your mouth, in the shining dot within your eyes, in that tiny, almost unrecognizable scar above your cheek. You are both the artist and the canvas. Never stop drawing, never stop evolving. And in the back of your mind, don’t ever forget that hopeful young being that keeps asking you – where is this road leading me? One day, you may be able to answer and smile.

xo, 

Teddy T

Self-branding – what happens when supply exceeds demand?

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When looking for professional growth, be it a new job or a new opportunity, people tend to say it’s hard only if you don’t know what you want.  But what if you know exactly what you want and can’t seem to find anyone who’d give it to you?

In my generation (Gen Y), I’ve noticed a growing problem of great demand (from university graduates) and little real supply(from companies) when it comes to career advancement. Now, before all of you out there damn me as a pretentious snob, let me elaborate. Universities all over the world fill our conscience with the notion that we can be the best at what we pick if we work hard. They develop this false sense of security and self-achievement, just for our dreams to get crushed once we go out to the real world, a.k.a – the ‘job market’. To more eloquently explain my point, I’ll turn to my dear old friend – Marketing.

self brandThink of yourself as a brand. You grow that brand over the years through developing various skills, creating a Unique Selling Point (USP), all done in an effort to increase your market share (your employability). You believe your product quality to be superior to that of other competitors on the market and your promotional efforts in line with the brand message, creating a 360 marketing strategy. Naturally, you can’t win every customer, so you pick a target market to focus your efforts in (the industry of your choice and the companies within it).  Once you launch your product to those consumers, you expect for them to immediately buy it off ‘the shelves’, I mean, you’ve put so much work into your market research, right? Wrong! Due to the over-supply on the market and a low brand switching barrier (to other professionals of your caliber), no one seems to want to ‘buy’ YOU. It’s as simple as that. But don’t give up just yet.

You need to re-position your brand to fit the market needs. That may mean that you might have to get a job that is not exactly what you want to do, but gives you the chance to shine and climb up the ladder to the desired career once you’re in the inside. Mark O’Toole from HB, a renowned US based Marketing & Advertising agency, talks about 11 reasons why he won’t hire YOU as a fresh graduate. The moral of his story is – get with the times or get off the market. Harsh, but true.

So yes, my personal advice is – keep refreshing and reshaping your brand, stay on top of the market trends and adapt towards your customers’ needs. I’m not saying to completely abandon your brand values, but flexibility is key in today’s world. Eventually, by doing so, you will be able to match supply and demand and establish yourself as the professional your university professors kept repeating you can become.

xo,

Teddy T