The YAYA Connection

We're the youth and young adults (the YAYA market).
We're talking about the YAYA consumer for advertisers and marketers interested in our demographic.

We are the millennials,
but we won't be the YAYA market forever.
We're transient.
We're the elusive 18-24-year old market.

University of Missouri School of Journalism affiliated.

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By: Elena Christiansen – Webmaster

Does anyone actually know how the holiday Cinco de Mayo originated? Cinco de Mayo is, as most people know, a Mexican holiday which celebrates the Battle of Puebla where Mexican troops defeated an invading French army. So why then do us Americans celebrate it? The Cinco de Mayo that we have come to know has nothing to do with the battle of Puebla, but rather has been revamped and “Americanized.”

Millennials enjoy partaking in the festivities that come with Cinco de Mayo and with $200 billion in buying power, the holiday offers a prime opportunity for marketers. In addition, we are notorious for pre-celebrating holidays, celebrating on the actual holiday and post celebrating – giving marketers a huge window. But how do marketers capitalize on this holiday without being lost in the clutter of junk advertising surrounding Cinco de Mayo?

(A DON’T of Cinco de Mayo advertising.)


The generic sombrero and margarita centered Cinco de Mayo advertising is not going to cut it when trying to reach the youth and young adult (YAYA) market. Nor can advertisers merely put a Cinco de Mayo spin on their traditional advertising. Marketers need to reach YAYA consumers in meaningful ways that show how their products will enhance our Cinco de Mayo celebrations, versus any other weekend or holiday. Buzzfeed has created the perfect crash-course listical on the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to Cinco de Mayo.


The YAYAs market is frequently stereotyped as a “party” generation; that isn’t to say that we don’t enjoy a good night out, but we are looking for more than just a good deal at a bar. Marketer’s who can find a way to position their promotions in a way that adds value to our experience will successfully strike a chord with the YAYA demographic. An excellent example of this execution is the Cinco de Mayo “Pup” Crawl that local bars in Columbia, Missouri and the local Humane Society teamed up to sponsor, where all the proceeds will be donated to the Humane Society. The YAYA market loves to donate, but often feels limited on time to give. This is a perfect example of a way to engage the YAYA market in a valuable way.


Too often marketers push products on the YAYA market that don’t particularly seem to mesh well with our lives. With our fast paced lives, the key for marketers to take away is to not only promote a valuable product but also promote how it ties in to the YAYA consumer’s experience.

Pinterest is an optimum platform to showcase the applicability of your product to the YAYA market. It is full of recipes, party planning ideas, printables, piñatas and more when one searches for Cinco de Mayo. Pinterest and other online mediums, such as blogs, are perfect places to give a detailed and visual representation on how your product is going to enhance the YAYA market’s Cinco de Mayo festivities.

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? What brands come to mind when you think about planning your Cinco de Mayo get together?

In anticipation of our upcoming white paper presentation on May 7 (“Gaming on the Go” — a report about mobile gaming and the YAYA market), here’s a look into some of our other research insights! 

Have you met the brains and beauty behind the brawn that is YAYA Connection? Click the link above to get acquainted! 

While some of us graduates might be reluctant to leave our soon-to-be alma maters, there’s no denying that we have a lot to offer in the real world. Millennials, age 18-34, currently comprise 36% of the workforce – a number that will grow to 50% by 2020. This year’s graduates are the tail-end of the Millennial generation, and we have some interesting traits to bring to the workplace.

Read more about graduating YAYA job seekers on the link above! 

By: Sapna Khatri, Editor

Don’t worry, it wasn’t just you who was surprised and confused by the Twitter redesign. We all thought it looked eerily similar to something else…

The redesign has been the hot topic recently in the social media world. After much discussion of brands succeeding and failing in their SM ways (circa, American Airlines, US airways smh), it looks like Twitter is getting some attention from social media gurus for other reasons.

With this latest redesign, the networking medium may be set for a home run with all generations–and if not a home run, it will at least make a base hit. Twitter is out to win the hearts of the youth and young adult market (YAYA, ages 18-24) and our parents through its latest design.

Think about it, what made parents gravitate toward Facebook? Rob pointed out several factors in an earlier post about this migration to Facebook. Among these factors is the ease of communication. The interface and network established by Facebook made it enticing to many Gen X’ers. The ability to share more images and status updates beyond the 140-Twitter-character limit also generated quite the following.

The redesign brings another realm of familiarity to its users. While it may not be quintessentially Twitter, the Facebook-like interface of a cover photo, profile picture and posts gives users a taste of what they know. Beyond the familiarity is deeper strategy on behalf of Twitter.

The thoughtful strategy behind Twitter’s new design is to capitalize on its growing user base and encourage greater user engagement. As a marketer, you can benefit from this strategy by taking advantage of all that new Twitter has to offer. For example with a decluttered Twitter feed, your tweets have a greater impact on users. Making them engaging, entertaining and easy to understand will allow more traffic to your Twitter profile, more pins and ultimately greater interaction.

Speaking of pinned tweets, they will become your best friend. Pinning is no longer just for Pinterest as it became a critical feature of Twitter’s redesign. It provides you with the ability to strategically select a single tweet promoting your credentials or interests to “pin” at the top of your profile; thus setting the tone for your Twitter profile and making that tweet the first thing visitors see. This pin option coupled with filtering options allow you to pick what others see on your Twitter page, and what you see from them. Another nifty feature is that the filtering isn’t limited to just tweets; you can filter out photos/videos as well as tweets and replies.

You also get to share more about your company, brand, or enterprise. Its a two-way street. While job seekers are falling in love with the ability to capitalize on this new quantity over quality mentality by showing a more accurate picture of their skills, you can do the same. Post more photos, more tweets, more credentials promoting yourself. The new design allows users to share up to 4 photos at a time-a feat not accomplished since its inception, until now of course.

14 of the top 20 global brands, at the time of this writing, have made the switch to the new Twitter, recognizing its full potential. While the initial switch gives us a very similar vibe to Facebook, this isn’t all bad. In fact, the good outweighs the bad and similarity may be helping Twitter’s analytics. Is that just us, or do you too see benefit to the new design? Would you have made the switch? Tell us more in the comments below or tweet at our new Twitter profile @YAYAConnect!

Feel free to click through some examples of major companies Twitter redesigns here!

According to the Pew Research Center Millennials are the largest group supporting legalization with 65 percent in favor of legalizing marijuana, a 29 percent increase from 2008. Berg states, “Younger voters will become a bigger proportion of the overall voting base. It begins with shifts in attitudes and that translates to initiatives.” Not only are millennials supportive of marijuana, they are eager to capitalize on the new industry without selling the plant!

Click the link above to read more about the youth and young adult market and marijuana! 

By: Erin Morris, Copy Editor 


That word either makes you groan or gets you excited for your next workout. The traditional look of exercising often involves free weights and running long distances on flat, straight roads until your muscles give out.

For individuals in the 18-24 year old youth and young adult (YAYA) demographic, this is our parents’ workout.

Sure, stamina and strength are built, but where is the excitement, the individuality of my workout? Shouldn’t I want it to be an adventure? Why run at all if the payoff isn’t memorable?

Now we come into the trend of working out today, what I like to call “journey” or “adventure workouts.” Take for instance, Tough Mudder. Will Dean, CEO of Tough Mudder, LLC decided to change the perspective of endurance activities from focusing on silent concentration and record times, to celebrating a runner’s finish of a race and the enjoyment of running with friends.

On social media, it’s hard to ignore another one of the latest trends in the race adventures. The Color Run a run/walk 5K race features spray guns of color that give incentive and a palette of fun.

The organization hosts hundreds of obstacle races focused on camaraderie and and the joy of finishing a challenging physical activity. So why is it that we want so much emotional connection out of our exercise routines?

One way to look at this is trend is the more mobile lifestyle we are taking on. Why not show off your run to the social media world while you are out there? Social influencer and VP of Barkley Jeff Fromm states that two out of five Millennials feel anxious going anywhere without their smartphones. This mobile use can even go so far as texting and checking emails when you’re on mile eight. Mobile connection and brand engagement continue to be on the rise.

Fromm also points out an enigma of the mobile Millennial generation: we are people who crave adventure and excitement…but only in a safe realm. This proves “adventures” such as Tough Mudder can provide that contained excitement and thrill for the YAYA market. This additionally supports the Millennial desire to live healthier and balanced lives by eating cleaner, better and being more active.

Another type of adventure race is taking over America. Beyond just the boom of popularity in 5K races and other distance races, running activities featuring paint/spray guns of colors are capturing runners and walkers of all ages. The most popular, The Color Run, travels on the Kaleidoscope Tour in hundreds of U.S. cities focusing on “healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back.” Indeed, racing and distance exercises are no longer about having Rocky finishes at the top of the stairs or setting new a pace….it’s about the experience with your health and with your loved ones.

So how can marketers reach out to our sportier individuals of our market?

The rewards-based market of YAYA will relish in Instagram likes of their morning adventure runs or their group shots of post-game pick-up victories. Morning yoga with Mom, ultimate frisbee with your dorm mates, and half-marathons with your best friend are where memories are made. Take the concept of “with” and help young adults make individual events, team championships.

Additionally, the YAYA market has a very different concept of health and wellness. Prevention is the new penicillin and the holistic approach is how to keep yourself balanced. Be physically active and emotionally active. The first two focus points of The Color Run are healthiness and happiness. The focus to a more active life is also a more active social life.

How do you think you can connect with these mobile athletes? Comment below with your thoughts.