“Youthanize me!” Colbert jokes
Marketing to Millennials is all the rage, with everyone from toilet paper companies tweaking their marketing campaigns to be more youthful (and include Twitter hashtags so buyers with disposable income can perpetrate their branding to friends and talk about wiping) to soda companies launching Facebook competitions and the like.
There’s nothing wrong with adaptation, it’s a smart move, but it has become overly apparent that some companies are trying a little too hard. And who tries harder than national morning news shows, which comedian Stephen Colbert mocks on his show (scroll for video), Colbert Report, which says of GMA’s morning host, “that talking glow stick is right. Kids, you know something is young, hip, and fun if a middle aged woman tells you [so] at 8am.”
Colbert mocks the “news-free fun zones,” and shows clips of the over-the-top interactive rooms being added to the morning shows to attract Millennials that apparently offer no value to the news or audience. The assertion is that Good Morning America and the Today show are worthy of being mocked for lowering their level of importance by pandering.
But what is really important here is that Colbert tries to outdo the Millennial outreach with a segment of his own called #PlaydatePlaza which is meant to appeal to the four and under crowd. And there is a ball pit with a news legend hidden underneath. Behold:
Is this all a bad case of trying too hard? Are there better ways to reach Millennials?
Colbert doesn’t go so far as to say it, but we will – isn’t it somewhat offensive that the implication is that Millennials care less about news and more about bright colors and the Twitters? This is one of the most informed generations in history, and appealing to them is not exactly a cake walk, but offering lounges that look more like a tech conference than a news channel is yet another example of marketers getting it wrong and indirectly mocking the very people they are trying to reach.