Understanding How College-aged Millennials Receive and Interpret Messages in Agricultural Advertisements
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This case study described how college-aged Millennials receive and interpret messages in agricultural advertisements. I also developed one sheet persona types based on participants’ similarities in their summary definitions of agriculture and message interpretations. The college-aged Millennials in this study were undergraduate students at Texas A&M University, ages 18 to 24. I needed to understand how college-aged Millennials defined agriculture to understand their interpretation of agricultural messages. Four summary definitions of agriculture emerged that represent types of college-aged Millennials: 1) The Generics, 2) The Healthys, 3) The Fooders, and 4) The Agvocates. I concluded that most college-aged Millennials related to The Generics definition because of their basic understanding of agriculture. Future studies need specific questions about food, fiber, and natural resources help participants think beyond food and farming, and establish a deeper connection to agriculture. The Chipotle Mexican Grill’s The Scarecrow video and the official Ram Trucks Super Bowl commercial Farmer were used to understand interpretation habits of college-aged Millenials. Participants interpreted what the message of each video was conveying, but lacked recognizing brand association. For future research, I recommend that more specific questions about the videos’ content be addressed. It would be beneficial for researchers to have participants further explain the videos’ examples that affect their responses. This study laid the groundwork for one sheet Millennial persona types and how college-aged Millennials define agriculture and interpret messages in agricultural-related advertisements. College-aged Millennials in this study implied that advertisements that have real people involved in conveying the message makes the message more believable. College-aged Millennials desire an emotional connection because Millennials are an emotion-driven generation. If practitioners want to appeal to a Millennial audience, they will provide opportunity for an emotional pull to make the message more effective. The Millennial generation needs to be given a reason to share the message they come in contact with, so give them a message that they resonate with. Because most college-aged Millennials have very little agricultural knowledge and feel disconnected to agriculture, practitioners need to communicate agricultural-related information in a way that meets the college-aged Millennial’s level of understanding.
McGraw, Kaitlin Taylor (2016). Understanding How College-aged Millennials Receive and Interpret Messages in Agricultural Advertisements. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from