World, meet Generation C.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, I now belong to Generation C, not Generation Y.

How exactly can you know if you too are part of this newly-coined demographic?  If you’ve ever almost or actually tripped while texting, gone through an entire dinner without uttering a word because of nonstop tweeting or have a complete meltdown when your iPhone battery falls below 10 percent  – you just might.

Formerly called Gen Y, the Millennials or Generation Next, there are special characteristics that define me and my fellow group of connected, communicating, content-centric, computerized, community-oriented, always-clicking, twentysomethings. As a report from booz&co puts it:

They are realists, they are materialists. They are culturally liberal, if not politically progressive. Many of their social interactions take place on the Internet, where they feel free to express their opinions and attitudes. They’ve grown up under the influence of Harry Potter, Barack Obama, and iEverything—iPods, iTunes, iPhones. Technology is so intimately woven into their lives that the concept of early adopter is essentially meaningless.

However, as attractive as people like me and my fellow Generation C buddies can be to advertisers because of our increased digital connections and social interaction, we also pose a great challenge: getting us to notice.

Having owned digital devices for most of my life, and spending up to six hours a day operating them, communication is constant, instant and EVERYWHERE making it more important than ever for marketers to create innovative ways to reach us. Or as they say, get left in the dust.

Just how connected are we, you ask? Neilsen data determined that 18-24 year-olds account for 23% of the total U.S. population, but:

  • Watch 27% of online videos
  • Make up 27% of total visitors to social networking websites
  • Own 33% of tablets
  • Use 39% of smartphones
  • Represent 23% of total TV viewers in the country

Whatever you choose to call us, as this generation of young adults continues to advance professionally, Nielsen’s data could be key insight for marketers looking to tap into Generation C’s pocketbook sand grab their attention in unique ways.

Check out a closer look at a few characteristic of Gen C in the infographic below. You must admit, we’re a lot “C”ooler than those baby boomers!



How do you feel about Nielsen’s definition of this new generation? (Could you do better?!) If you’re a part of Gen C, are you as digitally-connected as recent studies have portrayed? In what ways to do you think advertisers can successfully reach a socially-connected and interactive audience?


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M/C/C creates the right mix of communications for today’s audience – from traditional advertising and public relations to highly interactive digital communications, engaging social media and powerful search engine optimization. With such a broad range of communication services, it’s easy to think of MCC as the big agency that does. With the passion of the little agency that could.

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