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Leading innovators share their insights to

creating authentic connections with millennials
and unveil their strategies for building creative
social marketing initiatives that are breaking
through and driving social change.
Brand Purpose, Millennials
and the Epic Creative that
Engages Them
This is the moment in time for
PR and communications to rule
the day. The paid media landscape
doesnt really have the potential to
have as much impact as the earned
- B. Bonin Bough, VP of Global
Media and Consumer Engagement,
The panel included:
In front of a standing room-only audience at Cannes, PRWeek
and MSLGROUP convened brand leaders and agency
innovators to discuss strategies for engaging todays
millennials through brand purpose and inspired creative.
Scott Beaudoin
Global Practice Director of Corporate
and Brand Citizenship MSLGROUP
B. Bonin Bough
VP of Global Media and Consumer
Engagement, Mondelz
Quinn Kilbury
Brand Director for Newcastle
Brown Ale, Heineken
John Mescall
Global Executive Creative Director,
McCann Erickson
Pavni Mittal (moderator)
Correspondent at
Christina Smedley
VP of Global Brand and
Communications, PayPal
How has the emergence
of millennials changed
the way you think?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Christina, youve just
refreshed the PayPal brand
and logo and it looks younger,
cooler, and more chic. What
was the consumer insight for
your new campaign?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Christina Smedley, PayPal
It was two things that we thought through as we were
getting to it. Weve been redesigning products to work
on your cell phone to begin with thats how this
group engages consistently. Within that whole purpose
what we wanted to do was start building a campaign
that had faces and that human touch, but made it able
to be seen on small, wearable devices as well.
John Mescall, McCann Erickson
There are a couple of things at play.
Millennials have been brought up in an age
of self-publishing where theyre not happy
to merely consume content. They must be
involved in it in some way have a sense of
self-expression and a sense of self through the
work. The way they engage with brands is they
need to be part of it. You cannot quarantine
yourself from them. In many ways, if you
dont give them some form of ownership of
your brand or your brand purpose or message
they wont engage with you.
Secondly, they dont differentiate between
marketing and advertising messages and
broader comms and pop culture. Were all the
same. You need to be as relevant and as good
as the best content in the world or you get
shot down. Previous generations were happy
to consume advertising in many ways for its
own sake and that doesnt really work anymore.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up
with the tools that allow them to self-publish
and to dig deep.
You need to be as relevant and as
good as the best content in the world
or you get shot down.
- John Mescall
In April 2014, PayPal unveiled a new brand identity a first for the
company since 2007 with a multifaceted campaign highlighting the
people and personalities that make its products great. With more control
of their finances, people are having their say in ways they never could
before and PayPals new and innovative solutions power this.
PayPal believes in a world that works for people, rather than the other
way around. For millennials, whose personal values consist of happiness,
passion, diversity, security, and experiences, this is even more important,
says PayPals vice president of global brand, Christina Smedley. We
knew we needed to make PayPal more human and relatable for the
millennial crowd to understand, connect and engage with our brand.
PayPal believes we have entered the era of the People Economy a time
of significant change when people and their relationship to money are
being reimagined. People are able to create global businesses without
a storefront, turn their car into a taxi service or pay for a meal without
taking out their wallet. This change is already under way, but PayPal
needed to find a way to communicate its role in this movement.
PayPal worked with agency partners at MSLGROUP, Grayling and
Havas to conduct interviews with media around the globe. Media was
invited to the unveiling of the new logo at the PayPal campus in San
Jose and to witness firsthand the excitement of the PayPal employees
around this People First initiative. Following the announcement,
activities continued with strategic placement of ads and marketing
communications through television, print, digital, out of home,
experiential, in-store and social channels. Media outreach and social
engagement continues, with program extensions planned throughout
the year.
Starting April 30, coverage was secured across a range of outlets,
resulting in more than 160 pieces of coverage in the days following the
announcement. Broadcast spots have appeared in Germany, the United
Kingdom, Australia and the United States.
Employee engagement was a crucial component of the new brand
purpose from the outset. In the first week alone, direct employee
feedback included:
I was super energized after the all hands! Excited to see whats
We are changing the payment world!!!!
I started a few months ago, and I love the passion at PayPal. This new
brand feels young, reenergized and fresh.
While outreach continues, 1,308 articles have been published
globally, resulting in more than 1.62B impressions. Across social
channels, there have been more than 51.4M impressions.
PayPal Case Study
Powering the People
February 2014 Current
Has brand purpose
become more important?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Scott Beaudoin, MSLGROUP
Absolutely. MSLGROUP did a 16-country
study of more than 8,000 millennials and
the results centered around three things that
we call resilience, relevance and resonance.
The younger millennials really see brands as
being resilient in trying to drive change. They
feel brands have the power to unite through
messaging. If you are commercializing around
brand purpose, its very clear that it needs to
resonate with what millennials believe in and
what they care about. If brands arent where
millennials think they should be then theyre
Let me ask the brand
marketers that are here: How
are you working with this
kind of insight?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Quinn Kilbury, Newcastle Brown Ale
Its about being self-aware as a brand. Weve got a
saying on the Newcastle Brown Ale team you need
to give the Internet what it wants. We think of the
Internet as millennials, males 22 to 29 thats our
sweet spot. You just have to know what you have the
right to say because in the end, as a beer brand, I dont
have the right to save the children. I do have the right
to say you should be taking a cab because Im asking
you to drink my beer. Its figuring out the right way to
get your purpose across in the right way. Millennials
have a really good BS sniffer. They know when youre
not being true. Just be truthful in advertising. Thats
resonated really well.
B. Bonin Bough, Mondelz
When you look at the tail end of millennials they
actually fall directly in the sweet spot of our core
consumer, parent with kids 6 to 12 years old. Dont see
millennials as some totally different beast that you
have to market to. They are really the sweet spot of the
consumer that youre marketing to. The shift right now
is not just how do you market to millennials, but how
do you market to that connected generation. Theyve
grown up way more mobile friendly, way more mobile
focused. Thats where the transformation is.
Source MSLGROUPs Are You Ready for Business Citizenship? Study with 18-35 year olds in 17 countries and
8,566 interviews | Research Now Panel
How do you Connect Brand Purpose
with Epic Creative to Capture Millennials?
Move the conversation from vague to precise.
want brands to be more active in the problems we are
all facing. I
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Millennials expect brands to focus their efforts on
rather than whats important to millennials personally.
Implication: Involvement in a micro issue will make it easier for
a brand to focus messaging and creative.
They do not expect every industry to address every issue
only the issues relevant to that industry.
want more meaningful connections with people
who share their dreams for the world
wish it were easier to know which brands were
doing good for society
Implication: Tell your story; take millennials on a journey from
idea to implementing change to change. It is no longer the
before and after scenario.
Rely on storytelling and refrain from bragging.
Understand its not my creative, but our creative.
There is direct correlation between millennials getting involved and
their belief that they have a greater voice in driving change
Implication: Crowdsource your creative ideas by engaging
millennials in social platforms and asking them to contribute
to the creative process.
would be proud to be associated with a brand that they
perceive is doing the right thing
are looking to brands to provide simple
ways for them to make a difference
|'11\l l\'|
MSLGROUP conducted global research that offers new insights about how brands and companies should engage with millennials
around brand purpose and creativity:
So how is the relationship
between brands and the
millennials changing?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Christina, is it tougher for you
because youre not just selling
products youre also selling a
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Everyone needs money and its not money as you
know it anymore. Money is going to be on your phone.
You are not going to walk around with cash. We see
data thats showing about 68 percent of millennials
dont want to go to a bank anymore. They think we can
be their bank.
Look at our brand, Oreo. We did a [gay pride]
rainbow cookie. Today a cookie can have a
point of view on a cultural moment thats so
distinct. You can only do that now because
youre talking to the core consumer, which is the
millennial, who have an appreciation for a brand
being able to have a point of view that point
without saying anything, just one image. Youre
talking to that generation now. The relationship
between brand and millennial consumer is
that you can actually have a dialogue with them
thats really built around what resonates in
culture right now.
Venmo is an app that we acquired last year.
Fundamentally, its like watching a slice of
American Friday nights every time. People
talk about how theyre spending their money
whether its for shopping or hamburgers and
they will share absolutely everything in this
feed. As a brand you cant intervene in that
conversation because its really a private one,
but very, very public. What you can do is you can
start to frame a conversation about the topics
that theyre talking about.
At South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) 2014 in Austin, Texas,
Mondelz International and its Oreo brand hosted a large-scale
activation called Trending Vending.
The objective was to further distinguish Oreos brand innovation thought
leadership in a crowded snacking industry space with key audiences.
With Trending Vending, Oreo leveraged connectivity and customization
in a creative, fun way to create an engaging consumer experience.
SXSWi is a crowded space with many competing to have their ideas
heard, so PR was a critical component in achieving these goals.
Oreo challenged and explored the existing snacking paradigm where
companies decide the cookies that consumers eat, asking, What if
consumers could customize cookies according to their mood of the
moment? After researching and testing concepts around the customer
journey, the team mapped out the consumer experience to determine
what motivates users, ultimately resulting in the concept for Trending
Vending. Oreo knew that SXSWi would be the ideal testing ground
for this emerging technology, providing a unique opportunity to get
feedback from the digital-savvy crowd.
Oreo created two proprietary vending machines that enabled SXSWi
visitors to create custom snacks based on trending Twitter conversations.
Using transparent touch screens, users could literally taste the trend by
scrolling through a list of trending topics, with each trend representing a
particular flavor combination and pattern.
Leveraging tactics including a press release, traditional and social
media outreach, as well as on-site media liaising, the Trending Vending
activation propelled one of the largest spikes in Oreo social conversation
and media attention since the brands dunk in the dark tweet of the
2013 Super Bowl. Buzz on the ground was tangible, with approximately
10,000 visitors, or one-third of all festival attendees. The activation
garnered 6 million media impressions in two weeks and over 360
Trending Vending mentions on broadcast channels, including local,
national and international stations.
Mondelz Case Study
Trending Vending generated palpable excitement and meaningful buzz,
with results including:
10,000 visitors, or one-third of SXSWi Interactive attendees, who
waited in line for 2+ hours despite rainy weather, for a chance to be
part of the experiment
42+ million online/print and social media impressions
Trending Vending was one of the most talked-about activations
at SXSWi, with positive Twitter sentiment beating Oreo and CPG
Highest Twitter engagement at SXSWi among comparable food and
snacking brand activations, despite higher spend by competitors
Nearly 5,000 tweets mentioned Oreo and SXSWi together
360+ broadcast mentions in local and national TV outlets
58 article placements in two weeks:
98% was favorable or neutral
62% included key messages
41% was in-depth (including pieces in Fast Company, Wall Street
Journal and CNN)
Since the activation, Oreo has received multiple requests from national
broadcast morning shows and trade show organizers to have the
machines featured on-site.
Can you give me an
example of someone
whos got it?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
John, the challenge for you is
that Metro Trains Melbourne
was not a cool brand. How do
you work around that to drive
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
The message was destined to be ignored because
no one likes being told what to do. Think about
when youre a teenager youre hardwired to resist
messages from on high. The best thing you can ever
do is have a very honest, hard look at yourselves and
the message and say were not marketers anymore,
were not agency people. We have the audience in
the room with us and apply the bullshit filters and ask
would anyone care? If not, what could we do to get
them engaging with our brand purpose and message?
Its hard, but its simple.
[Brand marketers] have got more power than theyve
ever had in the history of marketing right now thanks
to social platforms, but to exercise that power they
must relinquish control. With Dumb Ways to Die, we
never told you not to do it, ever. So people are happy
then to share it peer to peer. We started from that
basis of were not in control here.
You have to be newsworthy, too, to a certain extent.
And you have to figure out a way thats got to be a
super creative idea that people are going to want to
choose your brand over cute kittens and Justin Bieber.
Its really hard to beat cute kittens.
The P&G Secret brand. I think arriving at a brand
purpose around fearlessness is such a strong
connection to young girls today. They have
purpose, commercialize around purpose, and
connect it to their citizenship actions. Theyre
helping stop bullying in the world, which is a
huge issue for millennial girls.
Brands need to jump into conversations that
are relevant and their points of view must be
grounded in who they are.
How do you convert
connecting with
millennials to getting them
to buy?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
But do you have to be young
yourself to understand
millennials views? What is the
average age of your teams?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
I would say its not young enough. Im not young
enough. The bigger question is how are we going to
understand a young millennial demographic if we
spend most of our time within the four walls of our
office? Thats where I think part of the challenge
is. Most marketers leave their house, they go to
the office, they leave the office, they go home and
thats their understanding of the world. If you want
to understand electronic dance music culture, go to
events, go understand whats happening there. I dont
think we do enough anthropological work. I dont think
it has to be a young or old person.
We do a fair amount. Honestly, you can never do
enough. You have to do all of these things and you
have to understand theres a huge difference between
a 33-year-old, married with a kid millennial and a
25-year-old, single millennial. They are not the same
people. They might digest media the same way. You
still have to get on their Facebook feed the same way,
which by the way is through PR not through social. PR
is the key to our campaigns. Its all about getting in the
newsfeed. But if youre not out there understanding
what they care about you cant possibly become
important enough in their lives to make a difference.
Actually, its not that hard. Weve basically found
when people are talking about us as a brand
people are buying us. Its a badge category. You
need to get people talking about it.
Does people talking about my brand or my
brand's purpose equate to sales? Yes, of course.
When you look at Beats by Dre, there was no
paid media for the first two years. It was all
around the influencer. This is the moment in
time for PR and communications to rule the
day. The paid media landscape doesnt
really have the potential to have as much impact
as the earned communication.
Not every brand has to stand for changing the
world. You just have to be honest because
millennials will call you on it. You have to
establish the fact that you have the right to play
in a space. Newcastle Brown Ale being about
telling the truth in the No Bollocks campaign
will allow us in the future to do something
maybe bigger and bolder.
You dont have to change the world, but you
have to change my world. You have to have a
reason to exist. Dont just sell me shit. Why?
Theres too much out there. Why should I have
you in my life? Change something for me.
Allow me to move forward in some small way.
The future of purpose is profit. What we found
is that millennials want to co-create. Its not
your creative, its our creative.
You need to launch a campaign platform thats
open from the start. So in Dumb Ways, the film
launched on day one. On day two we launched
the karaoke version because we knew people
could use the music to make their own parodies.
On day three the parodies started coming. The
client was smart enough to allow people to and
never interfere. You dont disable comments.
If people make the most outrageously profane
parodies, let them. Dont crack down on
anything. From day one say we want you. This is
The old way of a person feeling good about a
brand is to wear the big logo on their chest. The
Nike swoosh said Im part of Nike. Now you need
to feed them with stuff that they can then use to
self-express in their social communities through
you. If you dont do that theyll ignore you.
How do you balance
commercialization, the
bottom line, and still
stand for brand purpose?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Not every brand has to stand for
changing the world. You just have to
be honest because millennials will
call you on it.
- Quinn Kilbury
What we found is that millennials
want to co-create. Its not your
creative, its our creative.
- Scott Beaudoin
If I was a brand wanting to
reach out to millennials, what
are your three tips?
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Its very clear there are three things - head, heart and
hands. What I mean by that is for the older millennials
it was really the heart. You want them to understand
that you are more than just about selling products.
There needs to be a confluence today with the younger
millennials around hands and head. Head in that they
are very rational. They can separate and they can call
you out if youre not doing it right. Hands because they
want to not only collaborate and co-create, they want
action and want to be part of it. They want to be part of
a brands citizenship action. If I were a brand I would
be thinking of those three in the context of purpose.
Dont stop at heart because millennials are very smart,
very rational and action oriented.
The power of the opportunity that we have in
front of us is to co-create with consumers and
allow them to share, allow them to be a part of
the message, allow them to shape it and make
it their own. But the hardest thing is for brands
to also have a feedback loop. What do we learn
from that? I was with the CMO of Burger King
and what was interesting is not only do they
participate in social and listen, but they actually
turn what theyre hearing in social into menu
We had a similar example where we launched
3D-printed Oreo cookies at South by
Southwest. Its the most cynical audience in
the world. The goal was to see if we can change
customization. There were two machines. You
could just watch the process happen and taste
the cookie, but you couldnt actually control it.
The other one you waited two hours and you
could control the process. What came out of it
was people would wait in line for two hours to
get one customized Oreo cookie.
Were going back and figuring out how to create
a line of mass customized product that we can
deliver and create a new business.
So you have to basically
part with some of the
power that you have as
brand custodians.
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
The non-Super Bowl Super Bowl ad. Most of
us who worked on that campaign have worked
on a Super Bowl campaign before, so we knew
that theres a pattern to the way thats going to
work and we also knew that our consumer, the
younger millennials, want to watch the game.
Very few ads do well anymore on the Super
Bowl. We created a hypothetical campaign
that made fun of Super Bowl campaigns
and it got more impressions than any Super
Bowl campaign because it was relevant to
this consumer and they got it immediately.
We didnt have any money behind that Anna
Kendrick video and that was so important
because if we had tried to buy the views all of a
sudden its an ad.
My advice would be just assume from minute
one that you can be world famous inside of two
months and just make it happen. No matter
how much money youve got, pretend that
youre poor. Dont buy any media. Give yourself
a ridiculously ambitious target and challenge
great people to meet it. Be the toughest client
in the world in terms of the brand purpose.
I will accept nothing that isnt great and that will
ignite a global conversation around my brand
and I am 100 percent open to what it is. I have
no expectations of what it is. That would be
great fun.
Give an example from
your experience,
something that your
brand has done.
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
I agree. The opportunity is having audacious goals
and going after them really aggressively. But [it is also
about] how you pull technology through to help you.
At PayPal you cant turn around without bumping into
loads of data. Thats something that we are beginning
to pull through in how we build campaigns. We like to
do really cool stuff. We use that data to tell our story in
a meaningful way.
Well in the words of [Weber Shandwicks] Gail
Heimann just matter to the world. We dont appreciate
how important culture and news is in terms of breaking
through and communicating with people.
The opportunity is having audacious
goals and going after them really
aggressively. But [it is also about] how
you pull technology through to help you.
- Christina Smedley
The Big Game. Its the one week when Americans actually seek out ads
rather than skipping over them.
And Newcastle Brown Ale wanted to be the most talked about brand at
the Super Bowl. The problem was that Newcastle didnt have the money
to make a Big Game ad or permission to be anywhere near the Big
So the brand created a campaign entitled If We Made It that calls
bollocks on overhyped Big Game advertising tactics. The initiative started
like any mega-hyped Big Game ad with teasers and trailers for the ad
Newcastle would have made and used Twitters promoted posts and
accounts to hijack the Super Bowl conversation two weeks before the
Newcastle showed the ad to focus groups and released a film with their
real reactions and revealed videos of the celebrities that would have
been in the ad including NFL star Keyshawn Johnson and actress Anna
Newcastle built buzz through an advertorial for Gawker, promoted post
on Reddit, and leveraged a relationship with ESPN to create a few cheap
TV spots aimed at sports fans. All of these were released in the 10 days
leading up to the game. The Anna Kendricks not-a-Super-Bowl spot for
Newcastle went viral and the initiative was mentioned on Conan and the
Today Show.
Newcastle received 600 organic media placements, earning 1 billion
impressions and received more than 10 million views across 15 pieces of
content, becoming a number one trending topic on Facebook two days
in a row, ahead of even the Big Game itself. In the weeks that followed,
Newcastle saw an 18% bump in purchase intent and a 416% lift in brand
conversation compared to the biggest beer in Americas 187% average.
All for one-thirtieth of their budget.
The commercial was named one of the top Big Game commercials by
almost every major media outlet including Time and Us Weekly. The first
time for a commercial that didnt actually run in the Super Bowl.
Newcastle Brown Ale proved that you dont have to actually be in
the Big Game to win the Big Game.
Newcastle Case Study
If We Made It
What are the hot
sectors in todays
Pavni Mittal, CNBC TV18
Space is hot. I tried to put an Oreo in space. The
maker movement is super-hot right now. Tech
is red hot, always. The startup culture is red
hot. Were just not doing enough in that space.
Technology is going to transform fortunes and
business and its in its infancy right now. So
much runway and so many organizations are
still turning a blind eye to that.
The technology space. I spend my life in
the Valley surrounded by people who are
thinking of these things all the time. Its just
phenomenal whats going to happen. As
marketers I just dont know whether were
engaging and leaning into it as much as we
should be.
Data is the key to unlocking consumers and their lives
on a mass scale. The way that they consume media,
you can get all of that from data. Also, just knowing
what people do on a daily basis allows you as a brand
to do great stuff. You get to a point of view, but youve
got to know what theyre doing in order to break into
that point of view.
One of the things that came out in the research is
that kindness in the world is an area that millennials
want brands to get more involved in. Our China team
is doing a program with candy brand Alpenliebe,
all around simple acts of kindness and creating a
movement in China. Its a huge hit there. The idea of
kindness is very interesting because its the biggest
delta on where brands are today and where they
should go for millennials. Its something to explore.
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