Marketing Alphabet Soup: Nielsen Labels Generation C

Generation C at work AND play!
Generation C at work AND play!

A brief public service announcement from NielsenGeneration X will still never live up to their parent’s generation; Generation Y is innovative but has misguided career expectations …  uh, correction, everyone! From now on, Generation Y will be known as Generation C… because they’re the most “connected” generation… although they’re still lazy and don’t really want to work for a living.  You can now return to your previously scheduled blog…

So, let’s look at why every news outlet from the L.A. Times to PC Magazine picked up this story last week. Just as a disclaimer, I view most labels as dangerous and limiting and this is no exception.  I feel this new era of connectivity further blurs the generation gap as opposed to the other way around.  This is where calling generation “Y” the most connected can be both accurate AND misleading.

Yes, the “Cs” (damn, they got me using it already!) can be considered more connected because those of us raised in the 70’s never cheated on a high school exam by texting a friend the answers.  On the other hand, Gen X has the benefit of hindsight to better understand the advantages of these new communication platforms and the wisdom to see where their real value lies. This is especially true from a marketer’s point of view.

That’s because the Web and mobile both, with particular thanks to the advent of social media, provide a direct connection to the ever-important 18 to 34 demo that has been so hard to reach. This is why Nielsen’s re-labeling of Generation Y to Generation C is being received with so much interest by advertisers. My take is that whether you’re labeled as being from Generation X, Y, C or a Millennial, we’re ALL connected now.

So, marketers, shoot us a note and tell us your thoughts on the relabeling of Generation Y…. and good luck with relearning your ABCs!

by Steve Iaconis, Director of Marketing and Client Services at Oblique Design