Advertising Week kicked off today with, among other events, a panel addressing the needs of millennials in an era of limitless content.

Panelists from some of the world’s most successful millennial-reaching companies included Flavorpill editorial director Elizabeth Spiers, College Humor managing editor Susanna Wolff, and Jonathan Perelman, VP of agency strategy and industry development at Buzzfeed. The group operated from the viewpoint that millennials are intelligent, engaged and adaptable to any kind of content that resonates with their perspective, be it highbrow or lowbrow.

Millennials are saddled with more debt than any generation in history, and increasingly look for content that is uplifting and therefore sharable as a gift to brighten their friends’ day. Though they are young, the increasingly short life of trends makes millennials already nostalgic, which draws them more to content like, say, BuzzFeed’s Basset Hounds Running post than to, say, vacation home write-ups in the New York Times’ Travel section. However, millennials are also informed and care about events in the world. They freely swing between silly and serious content, noted BuzzFeed’s Perelman, whose site tries to offer the best of both worlds.

Flavorpill’s Spiers touched on nostalgic content as a strong draw for millennials, who remember with particular fondness the times between the ages of 12 and 18. The panel also discussed the ever-present lists that seem to spread across the Internet like wildfire, and concluded with a conversation about branded content—a medium millennials will definitely consume if it’s good. Each company professed to varying degrees of involvement that their editorial teams have with the production of branded content, ranging from College Humor’s editorial staffers contributing to advertising projects, to BuzzFeed’s strict division of its writers between serious news-driven content and lists involving funny animal gifs.

Read more at Adweek.

Brief Take: Catering to Millennials means first taking their needs and perspectives into consideration.


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