Brands listen up, this is how you win with millennials

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 11 April 2016
Cadet Journalist, Lindsay Bennett

I read the word millennial about 20 times a day, with nearly every brand making it their sole mission to reach the coveted market. So pay attention, because this is how you do it.

Oklahoma-based fast food chain, Sonic Drive-In, has designed square shakes for Instagram to be sold at Coachella. For one day festival-goers will be able to order a Sonic Creamery milkshake through the photo platform. Using geotargeted technology, deliverers will then be able to find the people who order at the festival and deliver the shakes directly to them.

sonic pic updated 2

In a genius move, the brand allows users to “pay” simply by posting a picture to their Instagram accounts.

The campaign, by Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), seamlessly channels the #foodporn trend that has seen indulgent milkshakes take over the platform in recent months, also tapping into Instagram user’s love of food-focused posts. And it’s chosen arguably the coolest festival in the world to do so.

Seen milkshakes like this on your Instagram? #foodporn is why.


With millennials catching on to the power of their dollar and advertisers finding it harder to reach a generation that rejects the concept of advertising, this campaign cuts through by offering consumers something for almost nothing; a free milkshake for an Instagram post they'll be dying to do anyway because the content is perfect for the platform.

Sonic and GS&P have put consumer needs first, creating a product that is both aesthetically cool and shareable, which is what millennials have been asking for all along. It's an extension of pop culture that is already happening so it doesn't feel disruptive to users and it goes further then just slapping an emoji on a product to appeal to the 'hip' people.

sonic pics updated

Anyone whose been to Coachella (or seen the pictures) knows it's where hipsters break bread with flower children and celebrities flock to socialise with everyday commoners. And nearly everyone there is under 30.

Meeting millennials in their natural habitat is smart, and there is no doubt Sonic’s square milkshakes will be plastered across so many people’s social feeds they’ll be reaping the benefits for many months to come.

So if brands are looking to make your mark with millennials; this is one way to do it. But don't just rip off this idea, think of your own and think of your audience.

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