Where's The Beef? Where's The Line? by Brendan Maher


Many big brands have taken notice of Wendy's social media prowess. Its continued success gives license to further experimentation. Experimentation that will sharpen our understanding of how social media tools will be used by brands for many years to come. 

Pepsi's police debacle, Adidas's accidental reference to the Boston Marathon bombing's, and DiGorno's Pizza's misuse of a hashtag intended to support victim's of domestic abuse; all powerful and recent examples of brands falling asleep at the wheel and venturing beyond the proverbial "Line". The invisible and so often illusive line that dictates, through social convention, what is funny, what is offensive, what is in good and what is in bad taste.

How did these misguided attempts at social media marketing see the light of day? How can missteps be prevented in the future? 

Generation-Z, born into Twitter and Instagram, have a keen and uncommon ability to understand and navigate social media. The oldest members among them, now entering college, will each carry years of social media experience that can be leveraged to procure the content that brands push through their social channels.

Large companies who are on the cutting edge, from sports teams to consumer brands, are ahead of the curve and already incorporating youth in their marketing departments. This gives them an unprecedented advantage over their competitors when trying to reach young audiences. In the near future, implementing this uncommon knowledge will be an industry wide practice. The brands who do not move quickly, who do not make use of Gen-Z's knowledge, will continue to be a step behind in the ever changing world of social media.  

If you are interested in perfecting your brands social media and digital strategy, the Millennial Ad Network team is here to help! 

- Brendan, John and Jake

Chief Executive Officer or Chief Engagement Officer? by Brendan Maher

What does Tesla, Facebook and T-Mobile all have in common? 

At first glance not much. They couldn't be more different and yet all of these brands capture the eye of Gen-Z. Why is this? How can your brand follow suit? 

Millennials and Gen-Z support brands that align with their ideals. With ease of access to news and other means of communication every move that a brand makes will be under the spotlight. Through effective use of their social channels the companies listed above all are able to control their news flow and stimulate a younger audience. They will all have very continued success as today's youth grow.

That is just the start. Even though Gen-Z's lives revolve around social media we cherish the human to human relationship we have with the person behind the screen. When we see a big name CEO expressing themselves on social media and standing for ideals that we relate with we are much more likely to associate with that brand. They also get bonus points when their messages do not sound "corporatey".

Gen-Z wants to see the story, the struggle and the passion of large corporations. We want to feel that basic human connection. 

Become more than another big brand. When you become a person, an ideal, you will capture the Gen-Z market. 


Think Micro Not Macro by Brendan Maher

The power of micro influencers in regard to marketing to Gen-Z is no secret. When utilized correctly they have proven time and time again to deliver amazing results. But I am not here to talk about them. I am here to talk about influencers that have an even smaller following. 

As a student it would be unheard of to find a peer without social media. Student's personal accounts range from 200-5000 followers on Instagram. If brands can utilize these small users they will own Gen-Z. 

When young people observe their "irl" (in real life) friends posting and discussing products they are infinitely more likely to look into getting involved with that brand. In my experience they feature a much higher conversions rate than all other forms of advertising. Social media conversations are an amazing tool that can be used to break down the social barriers that stop students from purchasing products. 

How do you start this conversation? 

Aside from distributing monetary compensation getting your brand under the spot light can be a very daunting task. You must make your brand "cool". The number one factor in the eyes of Gen-Z when picking a product is what their peers will think of them using it. That is why kids pay $100 for a tee shirt. Those brands are idolized by young people. 

As Gen-Z ages and matures I am sure that their purchasing habits will reflect more practice values but we have a few years until that happens. Take advantage of the "cool" factor while you can!



MAN Team at PR Week Swipe Right by Brendan Maher

This past Thursday, 3 of our team members spoke at "Swipe Right" a marketing conference in New York that was hosted by PR Week. PR week is the largest marketing publication in the world so this attracted some very big names. Not only were they able to get out of 3 days of school but they had a great time as well. Some of the other speakers were the CMO of Facebook, the CMO of IBM, and the CMO of Tinder, along with many other internationally acclaimed people.

Being the youngest people there (by far) allowed our team to really help shed some light on what being a member of Gen-Z is all about. One of the highlights of the conference was when the CMO of facebook, Gary Briggs, told Jake to "go to his room" after Jake asked him a particularly engaging question about parents forcing teens off of social media.

Jake, John and Brendan all brought some very unique and innovative view points to attention. Our team wants to extend a very big thank you to Gideon Fidelzeid for giving us this amazing opperrtuinity! 

"Older Millennials have a tendency towards aspiring to more abstract goals in their career i.e. 'internal peace, working for a company with a mission, spirituality' whereas Gen Z may lean towards more concrete material goals such as 'Bigger homes, newer cars, and more expensive clothing.' this is a crucial differentiating factor.." - John Maher

" Brands missing mark using phrases like 'on fleek' actually offensive to Gen Z.." - Brendan Maher 

"Gen Z consumers consistently seek friends' approval of brands/purchases" -Jake Skoloda


Marketing to Gen-Z by Brendan Maher

On July 18, 2017 our President, Jake Skoloda spoke at the Marketing to Gen-Z conference in New York city. This was an outstanding experience for him to learn as well as to bestow some of his unique market insight to all of the business leaders in attendance. He dove into how businesses can attempt to connect to GenZennials and take advantage of new-emerging social channels. Special thanks to Nan McCann, Google, Ketchum and all of the other generous sponsors and creators that made it a reality.

Jake: I hope everyone enjoyed the conference and leaned a ton. It was a truly great experience for everyone involved. I am already looking forward to next year and hope we can get a larger audience because the more people there, the more knowledge that can be exchanged. It is truly a great tool and a must-attend. I want to give a special thanks to Gregg Witt, who really embodied what this conference was about.