Younger Millennials are more realistic

19 June 2013
NEW YORK: Younger Millennials have distinctly different attitudes and ambitions to their older siblings, including greater pragmatism and a will to succeed, a new survey claims.

A study from MTV, the youth-oriented cable channel, Young Millennials Will 'Keep Calm & Carry On', was based on in-home interviews, Instagram journals and the digital diaries of 1,800 younger Millennials, aged 14-17.

An interesting difference was that the hero of choice for Younger Millennials was Katniss Everdeen,the arrow-slinging heroine of The Hunger Games. Older Millennials grew up with wand-wielding Harry Potter.

More than three-quarters of 14-17 year-olds interviewed admitted to being worried "about the negative impact that today's economy will have on me or my future".

And a third of third of respondents had a world view so bleak they said they habitually check possible escape routes when at sports stadiums for games or concerts.

This is a consequence of events such as the Arab Spring and the Boston Marathon shootings, said Alison Hillhouse, the vice president of MTV Insights, speaking to Fast Company. "They are not completely freaked out," she said, "[they believe] this is just the world we live in and [they] need to be prepared."

Hillhouse went on to describe Younger Millennials as "digital latchkey kids", who have had relatively little parental supervision of their online activity and who have learned on their own how to filter inappropriate content.

"Unlike other brands that get a lock on the audience and age with them, we have to shed our skin and reinvent ourselves," Stephen K. Friedman, president of MTV, told the New York Times.

Previous generational studies from MTV helped inform new series and increase ratings by as much as 24%.

MTV will also be taking the research to major advertisers such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Pepsi, in order to advise them about the sort of advertising that is likely to resonate with a more pragmatic group of teenagers.

Data sourced from New York Times, Fast Company; additional content by Warc staff
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