Millennial Perspectives in LA: Diversity and MultiCulturalism

“Innovation comes from a place where ideas from different fields and cultures meet and collide, igniting an explosion of extraordinary new discoveries.  To get there, you need two things: passion and diversity.”    Frans Johansson/The Medici Effect

Today, an incredible panel convened at General Mills to speak about Millennial perspectives on diversity & multiculturalism.  Panelists included:

  • Zandile Bay, Harvard University Fellow @zandile
  • Jason Crain, Account Manager at Google
  • Pushpa Gopalan, SVP at Leo Burnett
  • Marcus Jimenez, Partner/Principle at Huemanitas
  • Harjot Singh, Executive Strategic Partner at McCann NY

Main topics included:

  1. Millennials don’t want to be seen as a target audience but as a community
  2. Diversity for millennials is deeper than skincolor/ethnicity/identity. Its a fluid blend of many ideologies
  3. Gen Y doesn’t tune into BET, Univision etc because the people look like them. They tune in because they can relate to the messaging.
  4. Brands need to speak to Millennials with a personalized human voice rather than with a generic marketing communication.

 

Panelists at the LA panel

Here in LA, the Millenials had their chance to share their thoughts on diversity as moderated by Bryan Master, Digital Account Director at Initiative.  Panelists included:

  • Avriel Epps: UCLA Majoring in Communication Studies
  • Shauna Holland: UCLA Extension in Copywriting
  • Kevin Lockett: University of Arizona in Marketing
  • Garrett Mccoll: California State University in Psychology
  • Diana Cui: Ithaca College in integrated Marketing Communications

 

In this local discussion, main topics centered on:

What does a post racial America look like?

Two conversations were uncovered within the group.  On the one side, there was a desire to eliminate stereotypes and to look at each other without these preconceived notions.  On the other side of the coin, there was a desire to ‘celebrating our individualities’ giving us our cultural distinctions rather than homogenizing our nation.

How does social media deal with diversity?

Certain types of social media could perpetuate stereotypes (e.g. Twitter’s ‘after-dark’ conversations) but overall social media has the ability to powerfully connect us.

Favorite Brands?

Apple, Anthropologie, NFL, Nike, Lady Gaga , Sprint, & Toyota  As a fan of these brands, these students would wholeheartedly advocate for them on social networks and with their friends.

What does a brand have to do to win your loyality?

These students want a story, content which connects them to the fabric of the brand.  They also want some honesty from the brand’s voice and to be involved in a way which feels organic.