The marketing world desperately wants to know how to reach millennials, so it seems ingeniously simple that media shop PHD partners with the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism to tap its advertising students' inherent knowledge on the subject. The Omnicom-owned agency has chosen a handful of students every year since 2012 to embark on a six month research study.
"We get their opinions about the world we are living in today," explained Tara Nolan, PHD's director of marketing. "They do focus groups and provide their own opinions based on questions we task them with."
PHD has been taking it up a notch in recent weeks, bringing the ad students to South by Southwest Interactive for the first time to contribute to a Tumblr blog about the marketing-tech happenings they found most interesting. The students asked SXSW attendees about branded storytelling, wearable devices and other hot topics before posting the takeaways to social media channels.
"They were extremely active on Twitter," Nolan added. "There's little nuggets, and they gave us a nice summary. The value will be helping [marketers] understand where they are coming from."
The group was in New York over this past weekend while sharing their early-20s pearls of wisdom with PHD customers such as HBO, GSK and Google. "Helping brand clients is why we do it," Nolan said. "It's proprietary research that we are refreshing every year."
While the UGA students were in town, Adweek asked them to describe what marketers need to know about their generation in six seconds or less.
Check out their Vines below. (Please note: There appears to be a Vine embed glitch with Firefox, so we recommend Chrome, Safari or another browser. Also, the social videos auto-play with sound off as a default, so click the speaker icon in the upper-left-hand corner to listen to the students one at a time as you scroll the page. Once you are done with a video, click sound off and move to the next one.)
Channing Jones:Brandon Murphy:Yates Webb:Victoria Skinner: