Like everything in advertising, it's standard practice to obsess over all things young. So it is without surprise that much of the work agencies pump out is geared toward younger audiences. But while
ad agencies have forever been youth=obsessed, they seldom look inward to realize what the young -- their own Millennial employees -- mean to the agency.
In an in-depth piece forAdWeek
, David Gianatasio examines the effect Millennials are having on the
day-to-day operation of the agencies for which they work. Predictably, Millennials are great at speedily implementing the tech-heavy aspects to today's social media-fueled ad campaigns. They are also
frank, forthcoming and in management's face, disrupting things in a mostly positive manner. AAAA's EVP Singleton Beato says: "Millennials are the great disrupter. They are energizing our industry and
causing our leaders to lean forward and listen and learn in new ways."
But, like any age group, it's not all roses and lollipops. Gianatasio finds there is a propensity for Millennials to
focus on The Now and less on the past and the future. In other words, they lack perspective. Mullen Mediahub CMO John Moore says, "I don't think they understand the history of advertising like we do.
They just don't have the curiosity."
Summarizing this viewpoint, Gianatasio writes: "Older execs worry that millennials who are ignorant of history may be doomed to repeat its
mistakes. And that lack of institutional knowledge plays into another shortcoming: Millennials tend to emphasize tactics over long-term strategy. That can be a plus when shops need to quickly address
an issue dealing with technology—say, whether to use Instagram or Vine to target a particular demo. But overemphasizing tactics can be a negative when creating all-encompassing campaigns aimed
at bolstering brands and boosting the bottom line.