Once upon a time in Adlandia, you hadn’t made it until you were working on a car account. To this day a great car account is still prestigious and potentially lucrative. But this won’t last if young Americans continue to walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation to work.
According to Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic, “auto makers are worried about the Millennials. They just don’t seem to care about owning a car.”
The New York Times reports that forty-six percent of drivers aged 18 to 24 would choose Internet access over owning a car.
Is this a generational shift, or just a lousy economy at work? To answer that question, General Motors has enlisted the help of MTV Scratch, a unit of the giant media company Viacom that consults with brands about connecting with consumers.
Automakers are realizing that if they do not adjust to changing youth tastes, they “risk becoming the dad at the middle school dance,” said Anne Hubert, senior vice president at Scratch, who leads its consulting practice and works closely with G.M.
The problem may be addressed with new and better product offerings from Detroit’s finest, but there are larger shifts in the culture that may keep the innovative new products from being widely adopted. For instance, 88 percent of Millennials want to live in an urban environment, where having a car is expensive, a pain in the ass and largely unnecessary.