Millennials are widely regarded as having great purchasing power, making them an attractive target for companies’ marketing spend. But are companies simply steering communications and product development towards stereotypical characteristics? At the other end of the population, those approaching pension age and beyond have both disposable income and time but are the audience least marketed-to in the consumer spectrum.

July’s Speaker Evening combines two perspectives that demonstrate how generational stereotypes and misconceptions can cloud our understanding. 

Session 1 - Investigating the Portrayal of Millennials in the Media

Speaker: Carolina Starkhammar, Kadence International

What you’ll learn:

  • How millennials are typically described in the media, with examples of how they are often cast in a negative light
  • Evidence from research into how some of these descriptions are either incorrect, taken out of context or based on prejudices
  • Whether these claimed characteristics are unique to millennials or have been used to describe previous generations
  • A recent study from Kadence International using comparable linguistics to uncover the language and sentiment used when talking about millennials / Generation Y.

In part one of this Speaker Evening, Carolina Starkhammar examines the language and sentiment used to describe millennials in the media and asks: has it changed in recent years? Is the conversation too negative, and how does it compare with other generations, like Gen X? What do millennials themselves think about the labels?

‘Millennial’, Carolina argues, should not be used as a standalone tool for understanding a cohort of people. Instead, age demographics should be combined with other variables and attitudinal measures to segment millennials in a more diverse way, exploring nuances through category or customer segmentation. Otherwise we run the risk of the connotations being so generalised that those within the age bracket reject the label, and those outside it feel alienated by not being part of it.

More broadly, Carolina looks at how comparative linguistics can be used to examine words, grammar and conversational topics in order to help us understand how people talk about brands and specific groups of people.

Session 2 - Grey is Shiny

Speaker: Tash Walker, The Mix

What you’ll learn:

  • How to challenge your perception of the Baby Boomer generation
  • The facts to break the stereotypes around this generation
  • Who’s doing it well
  • A perspective on reaching beyond the research community to create a compelling stimulus

Did you know… Americans aged 75-85 will buy more new cars than 35 year olds. STIs in people aged 56-65 have risen by more than a third over the last decade. British consumers over 65 years account for two-thirds of all beauty sales.

Kick your millennial habit – Grey is Shiny.

Market research agency The Mix has been exploring ‘Grey is Shiny’ for years, with the intention of overcoming the awful stereotypes about the most under-marketed to audience in the whole consumer spectrum – despite the fact that they have the most disposable income and time.

To help in its rallying cry, The Mix commissioned two documentary filmmakers at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival. In part two of July’s Speaker Evening, Tash Walker will screen the two short films, as well as providing an insight into The Mix’s research findings, a game of bingo and snacks!

About the speakers:

Carolina Starkhammar is a mixed methodology researcher at Kadence International and holds a degree in Marketing and Advertising from Edith Cowan University in Australia. She has lived in three countries – Sweden, Australia and the UK – and has a keen interest in identifying cultural nuances and stereotypes.

Tash Walker is Founder of The Mix, an IPA 2017 women of tomorrow finalist, Chairman of Marketing Academy Alumni, business leader and public speaker.

Her early career mimicked the typical branding/packaging agency route – albeit with invaluable experiences of working on big brands (a diet of Hovis and Bacardi with playtime on the 2012 Olympics). Throughout this time, her nature of being a curious and uncompromising creature meant a steady stream of frustration mounted at the bland world of research and insight.

A chance meeting with a researcher offered some hope that ‘research’ could indeed not just be useful but also inspiring. Importantly she realised her love of brands was misdirected – her driving passion was understanding why the general public, normal people, do what we do. The Mix was born to produce remarkable, inspiring research centred on a fascination with human behaviour.


Bookings will open approximately 6 weeks before each event. 

This event is free for MRS members. Non-members are welcome to attend for a fee of £25.00 + VAT, which must be paid in advance.

If you would like to join MRS to enable you to attend this event for free and take advantage of the other benefits of membership please click here.


The Old Trading House, 15 Northburgh Street,London,EC1V 0JR

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