Whether you think they’re succeeding or not, millennials are clearly trying to do things differently. In general, they’re still figuring it out — hey, they’re young(ish) and life is a work in progress — but they’ve certainly managed to succeed in celebrating nearly-forgotten interests. Even if you hate your preconceived notions of this most maligned generation, the fact is that they’re having an effect on our culture.
Inexplicably (because they’re broke), they also have an appreciation for quality and aren’t afraid to spend. Considering the generation’s affinity toward social media, we’re left to wonder if that money is being spent because 18 to 34-year-olds really care or because they want the rest of us to think they do. Media and Publishing companies, Evolve Media and Havas Media Group believe that it’s the latter and they come armed with research.
In Behind the Bottle: An Exploration of Trends in the Spirits Category, the two firms interviewed 1,605 adults and found that 42 percent of people over 21 felt that social media was “an influential touchpoint to get ideas and recommendations of what spirits to buy.” The number of 21 to 35-year-olds looked to old-school media outlets is almost half that, at 24 percent.
As a result, having attractive young people pose with expensive liquor bottles on Instagram has become the most direct way to reach the millennial alcohol consumer. But why? According to the study, most millennials are vain as sh*t. When confronted with the statement “I sometimes order a premium brand just to impress my peers,” 28 percent of those crazy kids answered Yes. Only 11% of Baby Boomers responded the same way.
“Knowledge of spirits is becoming social currency among millennials and they will order name brands to impress their peers,” Brian Fitzgerald, the president and co-founder of Evolve Media, said in the report. “We also found that what brand someone decides to buy depends strongly on what they’re doing, who they’re with and where they’re drinking.”
Leslie Hallam, a course director of Psychology of Advertising at the University of Lancaster told Munchies that the trend of posting about wealth is indicative of the generation’s concern with sharing (read: bragging about) knowledge with their peers.
“One of the most important differences between millennials and Gen X is that, for the former, it’s not, ‘What you have,’ but, ‘What you know,’” she explains. “Being seen to have discernment in spirit choice is important social currency.”
It’s simple, really: People love booze, so everyone wants to appear as if they know about it. Buying good stuff to appear awesome feels intrinsic to the human condition, millennials just happen to share their drinking on social media. It’s not such a horrible thing, they might actually gain appreciation that way. BUT if any of these Instagrammers dare to waste that top shelf liquor, there will be no mercy.