A new Timberland ad in Hong Kong has American millennials buzzing. The ad, which appeared in subway stations throughout the city, reads: “You’re never going to be able to retire. Why should your boots?”
While Timberland was probably trying to appeal to Hong Kong’s strong work ethic, the ad seems to have incidentally caught the attention of young Americans on social media. “Timberland not f—— around when it comes to capturing the millennial market,” one tweet read.
Like many brands, Timberland has been desperately trying to attract the millennial demographic, starting in 2013 with its “Best Then. Better Now” campaign, which focused on the “outdoor life-styler” subset. In March of this year, the company ran a four-page coloring book ad in Marie Claire and hosted coloring events at its New York and Chicago stores.
“Millennials are really embracing the coloring book trend, and we loved the idea of tapping into that,” explains Mike Isabella, director of customer engagement at Timberland.
This foreign ad campaign is likely to build even greater brand recognition among this target demographic, as millennials agree with its albeit-sobering truth.
A study from Wells Fargo Investment Institute found that 41 percent of Americans aged 17 to 35 have not started investing in their retirement, and blame a lack of disposable income for this trend.
Millennials have a median household income of $48,039, which is about 20 percent less than Baby Boomers earned at the same stage in life, according to the report. Add a median student debt balance of $20,000, slow wage growth, and the rising cost of living, and it’s no wonder why millennials don’t plan on retiring.
According to the Wells Fargo researchers who conducted the study, half of today’s workers believe they will need to work “until at least the age of 70” in order to have enough saved for their retirement years.
The reality of generational theft under the Obama administration is finally catching up with millennials. They have been the victims of bad economic policy for far too long, and can only hope for the tide to turn under President Trump.