It is no secret that the world is changing tremendously with the advent of of multi-device consumption as users increase mobile device viewership while straying away from the TV. While this change is noticeable in older users – hello, moms and dads still trying to figure out iPhones – it’s different for the millennial generation who grew up with the omni-channel experience rather than being eased into it.

With such constant engagement comes many opportunities for advertising – sometimes too many. The result is that us millennials don’t buy into infomercials. We don’t like direct mail, and we especially despise how overt and gratuitous advertisements can be. What we do crave, however, is real experiences. According to Maker Studios’ Erin McPherson, “the new authority is authenticity,” a statement I wholeheartedly agree with. I might adore branding, but I have an AdBlock extension on my computer browser for a reason.

We’re longing for a genuine experience, which extends far beyond a 30 second TV clip or a BOGO coupon. Successful brands are our relatable friends, not just companies. They create believable lifestyles instead of reducing their engagement to pushing consumers towards a certain product.

Chipotle deeply understands this principle and applies it. My college campus buzzed about the viral Scarecrow video that promoted Chipotle’s mobile app and healthy eating habits, not burritos. Friends back home found the Chipotname name generator hilarious – and it was. The company has defined how to create content that is true to their brand, in a way that personifies it as wholesome but goofy, relatable but influential.

Some marketers refer to brands as possibility and in this case, that sentiment absolutely holds true. Chipotle has proven that it’s totally possible to bring a brand to life and resonate with consumers because it takes that extra leap beyond print and TV, instead creating a three-dimensional experience.

Fanny Sun, MSD Intern