How To Market To An “Unmarketable” Generation Y Dad
2 years, 5 months.
Honestly, I can’t remember the last decade I bought any product because of an ad I saw. Yet still, I buy things… am I unknowingly responding to ads anyway?
Even though I consider myself an unmarketable Generation Y (born in 1981 or later) dad, I will buy products based on the principles a company stands for, like Annie’s Homegrown and Chobani, and I privately boycott their competitors; because publicly banning is officially uncool.
(Hint: Social justice is especially a major selling point to Generation Y.)
With that being said, I easily parted with $4.24 today on a product other than food or gas:
I bought you your first Monster Jam monster truck today. I just couldn’t contain myself!
Why did I part with a 5 dollar bill of my blow money today? Did you do something special? Did you earn it somehow?
Other than firmly standing behind the moral principles of a company, another way to market to a stubborn dad like me is to make me believe that I am bonding with and/or teaching my child by buying the product; especially when laced in 1980′s nostalgia. (Dads love to teach their kids lessons!)
(Plus, it helps the company to lavish in the fact that I’m not a doofus dad like traditional commercials portray me, like in this Robitussin commercial.)
Well done, Hot Wheels Monster Jam monster trucks. I could have bought the vegan spring rolls at Whole Foods, but no, I bought my son a purple monster truck named King Kraze.
When I took a minute to dissect my thought process in buying you that purple monster truck, I realized that I believe the toy reinforces the masculine play time that you and I share… even when I’m not actually playing with you.
For example, I know that you will be taking King Kraze with you to bed, to dinner, and whenever you’re in the car. My spirit lives on in you through that toy. Sure, I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’m standing by it. Plus, I wanted your purple 1983 Chevy Silverado lowrider to have a friend. (Standing behind that strange comment as well.)
Yes, I love making you happy. But… I’m willing to admit I also like making small financial investments in things that encourage you to be a loud, messy, crazy, little boy.
A purple monster truck, I believe, helps do that.
So, in review, a stubborn, penny pinching, Dave Ramsey following, Generation Y dad like me will magically buy a product for his son if he believes that…
A) the company that makes the product is morally superior (not simply superior in quality) and/or B) that the product will reinforce the traditional ideas and principles that remind him of his own 1987 version of childhood and/or C) the company makes it clear that dads are helpful and important, not idiots.
Well, I guess there is a “D” too:
D) Get my cool guy friends on Facebook to talk about and post pictures of themselves with their son using the product and/or “like” the company on Facebook and have that company acknowledge those Generation Y dads’ somewhat indirect help in guerilla marketing, because Generation Y like to feel their input matters to helping a company with its marketing and sales tactics. (Twitter is the relevant social media hang-out spot for Generation X, not Y.)
But in order to make that happen, A through C probably already apply. Yeah, I’m a hard sell.
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