Branding to Millennials in South Africa

Millennials are strange creatures, but according to Julia Deutsch, there are a few things that Millennials Value that can be used to figure them out, Millennials value the following:

  1. Quality over Quantity – millennials always look for quality when it comes to outputs and strategies. It would be best to come up with outputs that are products of high-thinking minds and efforts.
  2. Deeper Immersion – this is already done by most advertisers, since most of them choose technology and social media as their communication channels. But with everything that is going on over the internet, your ads should stand out by giving your audience the unique experience.
  3. Socially Responsible Branding and Marketing – As mentioned earlier, millennials consider themselves as socially responsible individuals who are trying to find ways to improve life. But if you are to do this, make sure to familiarize you with the chosen cause and craft a message that will be accepted by your target audience.
  4. Listen to the Conversation – in other words, stay informed. Trends these days usually change so it is important to keep yourselves updated.
  5. Make it Authentic – since millennials are all about connections, they can tell if the message you are trying to convey is real or not. Believability is the key (Deutsch, 2017).
  6. Please see below marketing to Millennials examples that are current, yet represents both ends of the right and wrong (Lit or Shit) Spectrum.


There was no interaction or immersion with consumers.

Monster simply pitched a Gazeebo and packed out a few cans.

Furthermore, having a security Guard hover over you when you are trying to get details on a competition was not helping the Brands appeal. (This could have been avoided had there been a representative available).


Remember Authenticity? Play could have said, “Enter to win a custom BMW” but the fact that they utilised “Gusheshe” shows their level of commitment and cultural understanding that Play has as a Brand in South Africa. This move from Play will separate them from their competition and establish themselves as the urban Leaders in Energy Drinks. Monster speaks to extreme sports; Play speaks to the people (Millennials).

Giving someone a chance to win a trip to go watch the Moto GP overseas might be a dream for many. However, Play offers a car. Play does not offer a dream, Play offers Status. Social status can be understood as the degree of honor or prestige attached to one’s position in society. Social stratification is associated with the ability of individuals to live up to some set of ideals or principles regarded as important by the society or some social group within it.  (Maise, 2004).

Play is an example of how brands should market to Millennials. Stop giving them what you think they need. Start listening to them, observe and take part in active conversations and give them what they ask for. This can only be done by understanding the market beyond desktop research and assumptions.

So well played Play, well played.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: