With the proliferation of new technology, and specifically smartphones, older generations may think the best solution is to unplug. Even if Millennials might agree, they don’t like being told to do so. Younger smartphone users continue to feel that the pressures to unplug are overexaggerated.
According to Iconoculture, Millennials are turned off by the smartphone addiction marketing ads that inhabit the digital world today. In fact, about 25% of Millennials say they have defended and/or explained their smartphone use to someone else (Iconoculture, 2016). A number of ads, such as Bon Appetit Pizza’s “Time for Each Other” spot, have tried to stress the importance of pulling the plug on electronic devices and connecting with those around you. Although these types of ads have good intentions, they are not perceived in a beneficial way by Millennials.
A major obstacle to these ads resonating with this audience is that Millennials believe the benefits of technology outweigh the costs. Heavy smartphone users recognize that they are constantly connected, but don’t want to be shamed by marketers for using a product that they see has more helpful than hurtful. To overcome this, marketers can play in to consumers’ enjoyment of their devices and even encourage it, as seen in T-Mobile’s “Binge On” campaign. Any marketers that still want to address the concerns of constant connectivity may speak to this audience more effectively with an indirect approach to talking about unplugging, one that stresses the benefits.