Students apply graphic communications lessons to Special Collections Libraries research

Multicultural millennials—those who identify as non-white—are on pace to make up the majority of all millennials by 2022, according to research cited by the PHD Grady Creative Collective, a learning partnership in its sixth year.

“Currently they are at about 45 percent of millennials and only increasing, which also means that their trillions of dollars in buying power is also increasing,” explained Savannah Rabin, a senior advertising major.

With this data in mind, the team was tasked with examining “a day in the life of a millennial’s phone” in addition to studying the media habits of multicultural millennials and older Generation Zers—“digital natives” born after 1995.

Rabin and fellow advertising seniors Kate Ackerman, Stephanie Addo, Grace Brandus, Grace Greenblatt, Ashton Litle and Katherine York were selected through a competitive process to work on the project for global media and communications agency PHD USA.“The topic was incredibly complex with so many varying factors,” said Rabin. “It was difficult trying to pull insights without generalizing a group who is far from homogenous.”

“They worked incredibly hard and were highly motivated,” said Karen King, Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media and advertising, who advises the students.  “They did secondary research and a lot of primary research—over 100 in-depth interviews. We greatly appreciate our partners at PHD for giving our students this opportunity.”Through the experience,

Grace Greenblatt said she learned a lot about ethnic groups’ opinions on media and their different preferences. “It was really interesting to see how culture varies and how that manifests in media decisions,” she said.

All of the students’ hard work culminated in a trip to PHD USA in New York City to present their insights to executives on April 7, 2017.

“After our 45-minute presentation, we had an extremely engaging Q&A with the brightest minds of the New York office,” said Kate Ackerman. “Diving into such complex questions that I’m sure are being used right now for specific clients gave so much meaning to our six months of hard work.”

Added Grace Brandus: “My favorite part of the New York trip was the evening after our presentation when we met up with Grady alumni— many of whom had done the Creative Collective—and got to talk to them about their experiences, New York and life after college.”

The students expressed gratitude for the real-world experience they gleaned from the opportunity.“I am grateful to PHD and Grady for supporting such an amazing program,” said Ashton Litle. “I am excited to see the program continue in the future!”