Men At Work creates youth strategy director role to target 18-34 market; Nick Donovan fills role

NickDonovan.jpgMen At Work Communications has embarked on a strategy to target the marketer's white whale - the hard to engage 18-34 millennial market. The agency has created a youth strategy division and promoted account manager Nick Donovan (pictured left) into the role of youth strategy director.

Donovan has been with the agency for two years, and has been instrumental in the agency's shift from a PR business into a full service digital agency with core competencies in social media, creative strategy and content marketing. Relevantly, he is a millennial, and brings to the table an unsurpassed understanding of the millennial market, youth media, gaming, music and entertainment.
Says Adam Mumford, managing director, Men At Work Communications: "There is a major gap in the market when it comes to millennials, because no one really understands how to reach them. They simply don't consume media in ways that traditional marketers understand - they aren't watching linear TV, they aren't consuming traditional advertising.

"They are the major consumers of social media, but if brands try to engage with them in the social space in an inauthentic way, they switch off immediately. The key is authentic communication, and all too often these communications are coming from older marketers who don't truly understand the audience, and so the message doesn't resonate.

"We don't think there are many businesses out there that are really connecting with this market. The best example of a business doing it right is probably Vice - they get how to connect in an authentic way. We see a huge gap, and that means there is a huge opportunity. We've developed the youth strategy division and put Nick in charge to really drive our connection with this elusive market. This business unit will develop research, build client relationships with youth-facing brands or brands that want to enter the youth market, and focus heavily on creating authentic communications strategies."

Mumford said the agency has been quietly building its capabilities in this space for some time, and is already working with a number of brands that are looking to target the youth market.

Says Donovan: "It is so obvious when brands are trying to communicate with younger audiences and failing. You can tell that some old white guy in an ivory tower somewhere has said something like: 'Let's reach the kids of today with some hip messaging. Let's put a rapper in a TV ad. Is Vanilla Ice still popular?' Messaging so often comes across as condescending and hackneyed.
"Millennials are the most informed youths in history. They are critical, they are discerning and they have a highly attuned bullshit-meter. Not only do you need to know where to find them, you need to know how to communicate with them and when to do so."

Donovan begins the new role immediately.

The appointment follows a raft of recent business wins for the agency, including Cub Cadet, Wealth Within, Harcourts, Rhino-Rack, Shimano, Fiskars, Kennards Hire, House of Marley, Blackwolf and Suunto Watches, among others.


Patsy said:

Congratulations Nick, well deserved.

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