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#Cultivate 2: Clint Runge

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Clint Runge is the kind of guy who likes 7-11 Mountain Dew Slurpees and Velcro shoes. His saving grace is that he does great creative. As cofounder and creative director of Archrival, a distinguished youth brand strategy and design firm, Runge kicks the tires and lights the fires for clients such as Red Bull, Facebook, SPAM, Colt 45, A&E Network, Walgreens and a host of entertainment brands. He’s won as many awards as he’s had all-nighters with numerous national gold Addy’s, Art Directors Club, Young Guns, AIGA awards and One Show appearances including multiple One Show Pencils. His work has also been featured in publications like Communication Arts, HOW, Print, Graphis, STEP and the One Show Book. Most frightening of all, Runge teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the advertising college.

How his company engages youth…

They study youth culture.
They partner with a company that surveys youth.

Gen Y doesn’t think the same way Gen X does
– Gen X when we were growing up it was all about how I can be different.
– Gen Y is about how can we be different.
– Gen X has an attitude of exclusion
– Gen Y has an attitude of inclusion. What can we do together?
– Shifting from me culture to a we culture.
– Gen Y is more concerned with peer approval.  They distrust ads.  The one thing they can trust is their friends.
– Gen Y success is a balanced life, relationships
– Gen X success is luxury items.
– Gen Y has a huge passion for causes.

Gen Y believes the biggest issue facing their generation is environment, economy is #2, education #3.

Why is the environment #1?  Because it’s easy.  They are “active” by wearing a t-shirt or a wristband & because everyone likes the environment (not controversial).

What media best connects with Gen Y?  Social media.

The “first screen” is their mobile.  Brands ask, how can I get there?

Where is social media going?  People used to hope for their 15 minutes of fame, now they expect it.
– Social mobilization. Ex Dodgeball.  Leave a virtual post-it-note.
– Social networks will get smaller. MySpace & Facebook feel less like our place to Gen Y.
– Virtual worlds like Second Life

How do you target Gen X and Gen Y without offending one or the other?  They don’t care.  If you try to reach both you water down your message and miss even more.

Everyone is trying to get Gen Y’s attention.  You can shout all you want but you’ve got to let them come to you.

You can get people interested in a brand for about 3 months.

Trends suck.  As soon as you figure out what the trend is, you’re just following the trend.

Next generation starts around those born in 1995.  Some think it will be like Gen Y times 10.  Gen Y has been told that they know everything and the world revolves around them.  They are a generation of experts.  Next generation maybe more so.

Gen Ys don’t necessarily want to lead.  They value collaboration more than leadership.

There’s no such thing as brand loyalty to Gen Y.

Young adults are disillusioned by the political system.  Gen Y believe Apple has an opportunity to make a bigger impact on their life than the government.  Gen Y votes with their dollars.  That’s why a lot of companies are jumping on the social cause bandwagon.

Because women are becoming more successful, guys are asking what does it mean to be a guy.  Media spotlights guys as “the lost boy.”  What they find is that guys are actually free to do what they want to do rather than fit gender stereotypes.

There are new life tracking applications now available.  Daytum, Nike Plus,, ships & wrecks documents relationships.  Allows you to look back and see self improvement.

Do the right thing.  Because of the green moment and because of the recession some people are stressing over every decision.  Should I ride the bus or bike?  Should I buy eco-friendly or local?  Gen Y is looking for a moral code to help them make these decisions.

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.