To reach younger audiences like Gen Z and tell their brand story in a way that is authentic, HP has turned to creating experiences at places like SXSW, Coachella and Panorama.

“We want to own the intersection of creativity and technology, and to tell that story, there’s no better place to be than festivals,” says Emily Ketchen, regional head of marketing, Americas, for HP and a featured speaker at this week’s INBOUND conference in Boston.

The attention span of Gen Z, the next wave in the workforce, is notoriously short—eight seconds, by some reports—but that is because they have a constant hunger for what’s next, notes Ketchen. They easily and constantly bounce from one screen to the next, and that can be dangerous for marketers who aren’t steadily pivoting to serve up something new.

“This generation is super anticipatory, and we must be willing to test, explore and make mistakes,” she says. “We need to push boundaries, because this is a generation that demands it.”

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Gen Z makes a clear delineation between time that is and isn’t more productive, and that makes them more purposeful in how they spend their time, Ketchen says.

She cited parking tickets as an example. When someone from the Greatest Generation got a ticket, they paid the fine early. When a Boomer got a ticket, they started a campaign to protest the poor signage that led them to not park properly. Gen Xers grumble and wait until the last day to pay, while Millennials complain online.

Gen Z, on the other hand, creates a bot to fight the ticket and then put it online for anyone to use. has helped numerous drivers in the U.S. and the U.K. successfully get tickets dismissed. “This generation truly sees technology as something that can have a positive impact on the world,” says Ketchen.

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by Mike Stone

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Damon Swenson, Brand Activation Manager at Dr Pepper, on crafting a retail program using custom labels tied to Millennials’ passion points and lifestyle interests like fashion, music and pop-culture. He presented his case study at Marketing to Millennials 2017.


Festivals Help HP Connect With Gen Z