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A Line Of Cards Tells Millennials Living With Mom & Dad To GTFO

A campaign for Bloomberg Businessweek revolves around cards that gently nudge live-at-home millennials with subtle messages like: "Spoiler Alert: You End Up Middle-Aged And Single."

Depending on whom you ask, millennials are either planet-wise, tech-savvy givers who are going to deliver the world into a brave new era, or entitled, dubiously skilled whiners who think they’re going to deliver the world into a brave new era (you know, like every generation before them). But one thing is clear—twentysomethings haven’t had the easiest ride in these straitened times.

As a new campaign for Bloomberg Businessweek states up front, 22.6 million 18- to 34-year-olds are living at home with mom and dad. And the campaign, from New York’s Walrus, positions the business title as just the tool to help those Gen Y "house barnacles" acquire the kind of edge that can rocket them to career success—or at least their own apartments. The agency cleverly targets not only the stay-at-home millennials but their friends and parents with a line of cards that act as hints to get a subscription, get some job savvy, and get the hell out of the house. The cards are available in electronic format at, and physical cards can be found at Papyrus stores in New York and San Francisco (they come with a link to a free subscription to BBW).

Agency founder and creative head Deacon Webster says the idea stemmed from a Bloomberg article titled "Young U.S. Adults Flock to Parents’ Homes Amid Economy." "It seemed likely that the parents and friends of the unemployed might be feeling the pain of this just as much as the unemployed themselves, and they might be looking for a way to help or at least show some support," says Webster.

And, of course Bloomberg Businessweek is served up as a catalyst for ideas—about potential career opportunities and job interview answers.

Once the campaign creators knew they wanted to use the parents as a conduit for the communication, "the e-cards were really the only logical way to express it because if there is one thing that parents like to send over the Internet, it’s funny e-cards," says Webster.

The cards gently rib the millennial targets (sample cards: "We were surprised when you came out, but we’d be more surprised if you got out." "We’re not ashamed of you but we’re getting there"). But the site acknowledges that they are largely not to blame. It reads: "While giving millennials grief is highly entertaining, we want to acknowledge that the woeful state of the economy is not their fault. These free issues and e-cards are intended to help a generation that could sure use a hand, not to blame them. Millennials are, however, entirely to blame for Saran Wrap-tight jeans.

See some of the cards in the slide show above.

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  • Cayzer Ratcliffe

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  • Cecilia

    Oh the clever strategies that have developed from all that millennial research ... yawn. If we're such a sob story why are brands spending billions just to get us to notice them? 

    Here's a sob story you don't hear very often: I'm 24 and I pay for my parents' mortgage because the economy has affected them. That's why I live at home. 

    "I work in SF and rent is $3000/month."
    "My student loan interest rate of 7% is higher than your home loan."
    "I have no credit history, I haven't been able to get approved for an apartment." 

    Fail to see us as real people and suffer when we get to where we want to be—in or out of our parents' home. 

  • Dave W

     Let's see: recent grads are slammed with a massive economic theft that's transferred most of the nation's wealth to a useless 1 percent or 5 percent or whatever. They are without living-wage work. They feel like shit about themselves already. They are aware that their parents are getting sick of the prodigal child arrangement. They live in the same structure as said parents.

    So some halfass ad agency sells a member of said 1-5 percent on giving the parents ecards calling them names, mocking their problems, and rudely telling them to GTFO. This is presumably because the parents are incapable of talking to them about the situation without resort to sending them the "grownup" version with all the wit and empathy of the kind of 5th-grade valentines cards that would be banned in 5th grade. They need Bloomberg to enable them to kick the wounded in a manner crude and mean enough to cause an irreparable family rift. As a bonus they get a pitch for BBW, perhaps the most useless information for their situation next to the AARP newsletter.

    Even with all the crap-news in the media right now, I think this might remain the saddest, most hope-destroying reporting I'll see today about the state of our country. This is what FC thinks is "creative" and "innovative"??? You guys need to shape up and take a tour of the real world. This PR piece is beneath you or any other publication that claims to offer sophisticated judgement.

    PS-- I'm nowhere near to being part of the millennial generation.

  • KT

    Newsflash - most of us living at home in our 20's have jobs, we just can't afford to live where we work.  Perhaps the next line of cards could include something like, "My salary equals what it cost for one year of college".

  • Blake Bowyer

    Funny concept, but these cards aren't clever at all. Might want to hire copywriters next time.

  • Supermechie

    This doesn't help when the "Terrible 20's" is stuck at home because of insurmountable debt from the private university AND not being able to find a job due to "overqualified for part time work, underqualified for full time work" (Materials Science grad as a coffee shop cashier? 'Entry level' jobs looking for 5-10 years experience? WTF?)
    I don't feel 'entitled' to a 6-figure salary right off the bat, but at least give me an entry-level-related-to-my-major job I can work hard for.Call me touchy, call me bitter, but as a "Terrible 22 year old" I don't find any of these funny.

  • Dave W

    Well, the 22-year-old part is the problem. The "humor" is aimed at, and perhaps written by, 10-year-olds.