Netflix binges, Instagram lies and cancelling plans: 4 ads that capture the contradictions of millennial life

Samantha Jayne created the adverts for her book Quarter Life PoetrySamantha Jayne created the adverts for her book Quarter Life Poetry

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The Independent Online

Millennials are often described as an unlucky generation. 

People born between the 1980s and 2000s had to face an unforgiving job market, where CEOs replaced entry-level jobs by unpaid internships, rising house prices, and the pressure to always be immaculate on social media. 

But few have described the struggles that accompany adulthood as well Samantha Jayne, a freelance art director for MullenLowe in Los Angeles.

In a new series of four ads, Jayne, 26, has recreated familiar situations for millennials such as wondering if their job is right for them, calling their parents at any time of the day, cancelling a night out for an evening binge on Netflix or the fact that free food conquers all. 

Ending with the words “Who are we kidding?” the ads aim to show the tension between a generation’s dream and the reality.

The videos, each about one minute long, were released as part of a promotion for her new book, Quarter Life Poetry, out April 5 in the US and availaible on Amazon.

“I started Quarter Life Poetry as a way to connect with other people in their 20s about how I was actually feeling,” Jayne told Adweek. 

“You go on Instagram and see all these shining, happy photos of friends. And there's a disconnect there, because then you get drinks with them and find out how they're really feeling. Our generation has two completely different identities: There's our real self, and the one we curate online,” she added.

Jayne knows what she is talking about.

In “Mortality”, Jayne is seen at the office, questioning if this is really the job of her dreams until her boss tell her it’s Pizza Day. She dutifully shares it on social media but her caption hardly shows how she really feels.

The second clip, “Mom Talk”, shows how millennials rely heavily on their parents. Jayne is seen calling her mother all day long before insisting she is an adult at the end of the video.

In “Going Out”, Jayne lies to her friends about working late to skip the bar and stay home in sweatpants.

Another clip of the “Morning After” shows the ad worker quietly leaving a stranger’s room before he bribes her into staying by offering free pancakes.

“All of these spots, I'm pretty sad to admit, are 100 per cent autobiographical, except for the humour, because none of this was funny when it was actually happening,“ Jayne said.

"I really hope people take away that they're not alone. I know these struggles are completely privileged struggles, and pretty much what you go through when you're becoming an adult, and you make mistakes all the time," she added.