Investigating "Death by Millennial," a new podcast by Hornall Anderson

When Dana Wait was approached about writing a blog post for Hornall Anderson’s website, she had another idea — what about a podcast instead?

 Dana admits that she had no prior experience with podcasts, and she didn’t really know where the idea came from. The only thing she was sure about was that her coworker Tiffany Ta would join her in the endeavor.

Dana and Tiffany first had to pick a focus. They wanted to talk about something consistently that they care about and are also self-proclaimed experts in.

Millennials, they noticed, were frequently under attack in news headlines for “killing everything.” As two millennials who understand the struggles that companies are facing to  cater to the embattled demographic, they found their area of expertise. And so, “Death by Millennial” was born. After getting approval from senior leadership within HA, they set out to explore how markets and brands are evolving to maximize their millennial appeal.

With five episodes to date, Death by Millennial shares Dana and Tiffany’s points of view on an array of topics, as well as insights from an industry disruptor. The season’s inaugural episode highlighted branded cafes, followed by office spaces, cereal, cable TV, and beer.

The cereal episode, they said, was by far their favorite. During the episode, they sampled the heavyweights of the cereal industry, and discussed its role in the millennial diet. They said the episode was nostalgic to make, and reintroduced them to their favorite cereals: Frosted Flakes and Golden Grahams.

They weighed cereal’s positioning as a snack food versus breakfast, while clarifying that millennials have no intention of doing away with cereals altogether. The two also interviewed Justin, who they called a “snacking expert” who had worked with Nabisco, PepsiCo, and others. His breakfast choices trend more millennial in nature with a dependence on Greek yogurt and oatmeal, but he has a soft spot for Frosted Flakes.

But Tiffany and Dana said podcasting is satisfying for more than just their sweet tooths. The whole process has allowed them to step out of their comfort zones, and achieve their goal of producing authentic content that they are proud of.

They have also faced unexpected challenges, the most onerous of which has proved to be time management. Tiffany and Dana do the researching, recording, and editing almost entirely on their own, and sometimes have to work on the podcast on their own time. Although they do get some artwork assistance from helpful HA coworkers, most of the weight falls on their shoulders.

While originally they felt guilty if their podcast went up behind schedule, they have learned to instead feel proud of their hard work and quality content regardless of release date. And while they plan to take a well-deserved break to celebrate their successful first season, they already are planning for season two. (Their season finale, which examines whether millennials are killing the diamond industry, is planned for release on Monday, Nov. 4.) When they come back from hiatus, they plan to jump in by questioning the effect millennials are having on the meat industry.

Listen to Death by Millennial on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or here on Hornall Anderson’s website.