AAFTL Part 2: Response Panels

By Jillian E. Sorgini
Corporate Communications Associate

The Intelligence Session left us with much to discuss. In the New York City response group, Jeff Tarakajian, EVP, group management director at Draftfcb, and Ken Muench, SVP, director of strategic planning at Draftfcb, co-moderated the discussion. The panelists included:  Edd Griles, partner and art director at Senior Creative People; Jackie McDougall, student at Brown University; Mary Nittolo, president and COO at the Studio; Lisa Llewellyn, VP, group creative director at UniWorld Group.

Like the Washington, D.C. panel, the New York City panel began by discussing youth. “We are a youth-obsessed culture,” Lisa Llewellyn, VP, group creative director at UniWorld Group. said sparking the conversation.

It seems as if we are bombarded with images of youth everywhere we turn. Mary Nittolo, president and COO at the Studio, turned to women’s magazines as an example, saying that women over 35 are cast aside. “Things are more subliminal, but that doesn’t mean they are not there,” she said.

The debate on our youth-obsessed culture could have been its own panel. The panelists discussed various ad campaigns, but Ken Muench, SVP, director of strategic planning at Draftfcb eventually raised the point of Boomers not being impacted by advertising because the industry doesn’t know how to talk to them.

As we learned from the first panel, there are so many ways to reach Boomers. They still embrace the more traditional forms of advertising—newspapers, radio, television—so there is a multitude of options to reach them.

“Every generation has had different types of technology thrust in front of them and it has given us certain separation,” one of the New York City panelists pointed out.

Many would argue that the technology thrust in front of Millennials may make us socially savvy, but come at the cost of our social skills. For some of us, texting is tantamount to breathing. We are so hungry for information that we get the reputation of being a generation consumed with the desire for instant gratification.

When I thought about the dichotomy that exists between Boomers and Millennials, I was struck by the similarities that exist. We’re both driven by the idea that we can do better. We have the same idea of success, but see a different path to get there. Boomers have the wisdom of knowing the value of hard work and Millennials are constantly finding new ways to prove themselves.

The idea of youth is something that both generations are struggling to grasp. While Boomers are coming to terms with the reality of aging, Millennials are trying to find ways to use their youth to their advantage. It’s almost as if we eschew the idea of youth and are in a rush to grow up.

Unfortunately, my previous belief about Boomers being old and out-of-touch is one that is often falsely projected on them. In reality, we are two generations that could learn a lot from each other if we could put the stereotypes aside.

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