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Why I like Pivot, a cable channel devoted to Millennials

Pivot is a new cable channel with a lineup of original programming that speaks to and successfully addresses the Millennial generation. Brands should take note, not just for advertising and marketing trends, but to gain valuable insight into an elusive demographic.

pivot tv

pivot tv

Pivot has launched and is more relevant than I thought

Pivot has launched to offer programming designed for inquisitive Millennials, the generation loosely defined as (and not agreed to specifically by all) anyone born between 1980 and 2000. I happen to be in that group and while I am at the very oldest cusp of the generation, I identify as a Millennial, so when I heard about the launch of Pivot, I rolled my eyes. Great, I thought, another ad platform that wants to sell me crap products.

The channel is operated by Participant Media, the same people who created “An Inconvenient Truth,” and other such films, so as a registered Republican (who admittedly leans Libertarian), I rolled my eyes. Great, I thought, more self righteous documentary garbage.

Additionally, there is data that supports that the entire Millennial generation is favoring streaming media over television media. Great, I thought, another channel trying to be the 1995 version of MTV, ripe with crap “reality” shows.

I was wrong. So wrong. I loved it.

Despite my skepticism, we recently tuned in to the newly launched “Raising McCain” show, featuring Senator John McCain’s 28 year old daughter, Meghan McCain. The pilot featured a topic I am highly invested in – privacy issues. It was like TMZ meets Red Eye meets iJustine (some of you will know all three references).

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I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I think it’s important that businesses take note because if you want to understand Millennials, there is an entire channel that taps into the essence of the generation, and I’m betting many of your assumptions are wrong. Sure, there’s an entitled nature to the generation (as there is with any youth), but this is one of the most critically thinking, well educated, generous (philanthropic) generations of all time, thanks to the web and the parenting styles of the previous generation.

It isn’t just McCain

You’re probably thinking, “hey, you said you were a Republican, so of course you’d like McCain, who cares?” I get it, you’re right, I enjoyed her show because I identify with her personality and politics on a personal level – I’m a cusser, I’m a prolific social media user, I’m a young conservative, and so on.

But it isn’t just McCain. The lineup also includes “Please Like Me,” a comedy about a young man coming out, “Little Mosque,” another comedy seeking to debunk myths about Muslims, “Jersey Strong,” focusing on the underbelly of NJ not shown on MTV (gangs, homosexuality, broken yet strong families), and as of tomorrow, “TEACH,” a docu-series about inspirational educators in America.

Sure, there are endless reruns of Friday Night Lights playing as the new channel’s roster grows, but just the five series mentioned above are enough to give anyone a reason to tune in and learn about other cultures, either from a reality/documentary style, or through comedy. The channel’s goal is clear: open up conversation about modern issues and speak to Millennials. Simple as that. They have done an amazing job of showing both sides – conservative and liberal, straight and gay, dark skin and light skin, young and old, educated and uneducated.

Previews of select shows:

The brand is betting big on the generation and while Netflix is common for the under 30 crowd, Pivot is offering content not only live (which they say Millennials watch an average of four hours of daily), but on demand content. To get a feel for what the Pivot channel has to offer and to gain perspective on issues that are important to Millennials, put your preconceived notions aside and check out some of their programming. Here are a few trailers:

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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