Experiential Marketing for Millennials

Effective Experiential Marketing for Four Types of Millennials

Experiential marketing has, until recently, recognised everyone born between the years 1980 and 2004 under the banner, “Millennials”, and treated them largely as a homogenous collective. While grouping a certain demographic by age does assist in some predictions, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Millennials are comprised of four separate groups. Each group is affected by different socio-economic factors and as such have different outlooks. Marketing campaigns aimed at anyone between the ages of 13 and 35 needs integrated elements of experimental marketing including brand activations, promotions, digital and physical, across channels to fully reach these four distinct sub sections of millennials.

Struggling Aspirationals

The Struggling Aspirationals form the largest part of the four subsections of Millennials. This group is identified by their forward thinking and globalist view. They are ‘green’, fit and healthy, have some form of employment and standard source of income but often find themselves in financial trouble.


“This group is ambitious and seeks to raise their station in life. They are most open to digital marketing as they form part of the interconnected superhighway of information that is the internet, but are thrifty and skeptical of most kinds of traditional advertising”, says Michelle Storey, Founder and MD of Tradeway Promotions.


Experimental marketing that shows, rather than tells and offers opportunities for engagement and sharing resonates with these millennials leading them further down the sales funnel than old-school banner adverts. Brand activations that demonstrate how you align with values like sustainability and health and wellness are key.

Comfortable TV Watchers

The group is the polar opposite of the Struggling Aspirationals. They are content with their station in life and are often passive consumers of content. They can be targeted with most traditional ABL adverts like TV as this is likely their preferred medium. A small percentage of the millennial generation, they are comparatively lacking in inspiration and likely subsist off of welfare, or their parents, to meet their needs. Often consumers, rather than buyers, they do play a role in influencing household purchasing decisions and can be swayed with promotional marketing that positions value.

The Active Affluent

The most accomplished of the millennial groups, these are the “I’ve Arrived” millennials. With steady jobs and disposable incomes, this group enjoys traveling, buying assets and starting families. Likely the first of the millennial group (in their late 20’s or early 30’s)


“The Active Affluent sees their lifestyle as a means by which to measure their status and accomplishments,” remarks Greg Martin. This group is on the hunt for experiences and demand a lot from their brands of choice. They are discerning and likely to base choices around perceptions of quality and that align with their values.


Marketers seeking to engage and influence this subset should leverage experiential marketing tactics that demonstrate shared values.

The Successful Homeowners and Struggling Dependents

The final group of the Millennial generation exists in juxtaposition with itself. In the US, this group is comprised of the Successful Homeowners. This group is the most affluent and successful of the Millenials, whether it be by inheritance or high income. In South Africa, this final portion is comprised of rural Millennials with low confidence and limited prospects. They consume largely in traditional and informal channels and are highly price-sensitive. However, they represent a sizable market opportunity and engaging with them requires partnering with a promotions agency that understands these channels. Promotional marketing, sampling and value offers are a great way to entice this sector.


Each of these groups has some form of spending power and will be swayed if the right mix of promotional marketing is deployed – be it experimental advertising, in-store sampling, on-pack promotions, or field sales services. Tradeway is a promotions agency with national presence. We leverage technology for data-driven consumer marketing that combines the best of physical and digital tactics to maximise reach and sales. Contact us now to find out more.