Marketing and Entertainment

LifeCourse Associates advises marketers, advertisers, and corporations on how to refine and deepen their message to each of today’s generations, from “comarketing” to Millennial teens and young adults and their parents to marketing the deeper “experience” of a product to Boomers.

Many consultants offer their opinions about the unchanging characteristics of each phase of life—but we alone offer a long-term strategic perspective on how each phase of life is being transformed by each new generation aging into it. As early as 2007, the Harvard Business Review invited us to share this unique generational insight in a featured article, "The Next 20 Years: How Customer and Workforce Attitudes Will Evolve." With the creation of our social trends monitoring service, Social Intelligence,we can now keep our clients constantly up to date on the latest societal movements.

We have explained our solutions in keynote presentations to a wide range of clients, from the Ad Council to McGraw Hill, from Kellogg’s to Motorola, from Nike to RIM, and from the National Restaurant Association to the National Association of Home Builders. We have had multi-year research and consulting relationships with several major advertisers, advertising agencies, and public relations firms, including GSDM and Burson Marsteller, as well as with major entertainment companies such as Nickelodeon and Turner. We have created custom reports for clients like the Ford Motor Company, who requested a generational marketing history of the company to better understand the success of breakthrough models like the 1964 Ford Mustang. Hewlett Packard requested a report on emerging youth attitudes toward IT in Europe and East Asia, which we delivered globally via teleconference.

We also bring our unique generational perspective to the world of entertainment and media. Our 2006 book Millennials and the Pop Culture is helping the entertainment industry navigate its fast-changing market.

Over the years, we’ve advised all of the nation’s leading entertainment producers, including Disney, Viacom, and Time Warner Corporation. In 2007, Disney applied our insights by launching ABC family as “the destination for Millennials.” That same year, Time Warner called us in to conduct a major cross-departmental study on the media tastes of the Millennial Generation. The New York Times reported in 2009 that Viacom eventually changed its entire youth marketing strategy in direct response to LifeCourse’s advice.

Marketing and entertainment companies first started requesting generational solutions from LifeCourse founders Neil Howe and William Strauss in the early 1990s. Interest rose after Neil and Bill wrote several publications, including 13th Gen (1993) and a cover story in Atlantic Monthly, highlighting the dramatic contrast between midlife Boomers and the rising generation of Gen-X young adults. 13th Gen remains the best-selling nonfiction book ever written about Generation X.

By the late 1990s, marketers turned their attention to the post-X generation of Millennial kids and teens. The original coiners of the term “Millennial Generation” in their 1991 book Generations, Neil and Bill took a deeper look at these youth in their 2000 book, Millennials Rising, which explained how Millennials were recasting the image of youth from downbeat and alienated to upbeat and engaged. The book quickly became a bestseller, and rose further in popularity in later years as the author’s forecasts about the Millennials came true.

Over the last decade, marketers, advertisers, and the media have been paying increasing attention to generations. Some of this is due to the rise of Boomers—with their acute awareness of how culture “gaps” can form between younger and older generations—into the ranks of corporate leadership. Some too can be attributed to a growing awareness of Neil and Bill’s theories. LifeCourse Associates remains at the forefront with cutting-edge, forward-looking strategies for marketers and entertainment companies.