3 New Year’s Resolutions for me

A few things I plan on holding my eager, happy and ever-firmer ass to in 2016:

  1. Earlier wakeup time. As it is, I wake up well before most people I know. Let’s do 30 minutes earlier. What time is that? Not telling. Can’t tip off the competition. Which is everyone.
  2. No phone apps at work. Too many things buzzing, alerting and flashing on the phone are a massive distraction that is slowly eating away at my ever-thinning vail of stability.
  3. One night each weekend at home. This year I realized I was consistently feeling that I needed weekends for my weekends. I wasn’t leaving enough time for life’s administrative duties. Fixing that.

Let’s go.

There is no such thing as ‘millennials’

Something from last week in AdAge:

In 2016, marketing and communications professionals will stop targeting millennials as one demographic and focus on reaching the younger consumers based on their passions, according to a study released today by Hotwire PR.

 

The agency’s seventh annual “Communications Trends Report,” which was based on crowdsourced data from 400 communicators across 22 countries, revealed that brands will look to engage consumers with age-agnostic content that emphasizes certain values.

Marketing people are generally very smart but nothing reveals their stupid side like their endlessly frustrating attempts to “appeal to millennials.”

They can’t do it because “millennials” doesn’t exist. Not in the way business executives want it to.

“Millennials” is an entire generation of young people that grew up with more options for everything than ever before: music, movies, websites, clothes, games, electronics. And yet media companies think they can capture at least a significant portion of that generation with basically anything that can easily be defined as really, really stupid.

The biggest failure, and thus best example, out there is the ABC News-Univision venture Fusion.

It’s supposed to be a news site “for millennials,” as if an entire generation enjoys certain types of news stories delivered in a certain type of way.

(The only people that habitual are the ones who, depressingly, must take their newspaper into the restroom; those aren’t millennials picking up newspapers.)

Most people reading this, especially millennials, have likely never heard of Fusion, even with a massive marketing campaign behind it and all the resources afforded it by its two parent companies.

Why? Here are some headlines appearing on Fusion’s front page right now:

  • “People fighting for gender-neutral toys just scored another victory”
  • “I’m confident about my hair thanks to my mom—and Instagram”
  • “Congressman Ted Lieu gets grilled by Hot Dog”

There’s also a video by Akilah Hughes, a comedian I think, wherein she talks about news and says former New York Times reporter Judith Miller “should shut the fuck up forever.”

Editors at Fusion might save time by simply handing their audience a turd and a vacuum because this shit sucks.

A lot of people think BuzzFeed, the mindless but sometimes entertaining website, nailed it among millennials. Look at their traffic and how much young people share their intentionally dumb lists!

BuzzFeed has succeeded among young people but also older people because they make content that’s easy to pass around and look at. (“Look at,” not “read” because BuzzFeed is almost entirely pictures and moving images, not unlike a child’s See ‘n Say.)

If companies are abandoning their pursuit of millennials, it’s a good thing. The world doesn’t need anymore Akilah Hugheses.

People who need you to know they’re ‘Type A’

In Washington, D.C., people who work on Capitol Hill or in public affairs live for the moments where they can identify themselves as “Type A.”

It’s sometimes said in a way that’s supposed to indicate humility.

“I get up at 5 a.m. — a little Type A — so I can get a head start.”

“Here, I made a list of our options. I know, kind of Type A.”

“Oh, yeah, I organized my ‘fridge, ha-ha… Type A.”

Other times, it’s explained in the most obnoxious way possible, like this “Type A” author at the embarrassing women’s website EliteDaily:

Those who would be grouped mostly towards the Type A side of the spectrum are those that are more driven, more focused, more goal-oriented, more diligent, more likely to get stressed and emotional, more likely to have heart attacks and more likely to have mental breakdowns. …

 

I, myself, am a Type A personality, so I have no qualms in saying that we are the shit; we are.

The truth: People eager to let everyone know how “Type A” they are because they can complete everyday tasks– they’re not actually Type A. They’re insecure.

It’s the equivalent of telling people that you’re important. They’d know it if you were.

Beyoncé doesn’t tell strangers she has talent.

And by the way… 5 a.m. isn’t that early and being organized isn’t remarkable.