According to OzTAM, the Australian Television Audience Measurement body, Gen Ys were born between 1976 and 1990...and so there it is...it's a demographic.
Thanks to OzTAM no further work or research is required to understand the youth of Australia, all you have to do is type in 'Gen Y' into your desktop TV ratings buying system and BANG all the work is done for you. You are now advertising to Gen Y.
Shall we start at the top? According to the OzTAM definition, all 32 year olds are Gen Y, I think my mate Matt with a wife, 2 kids and a massive mortgage would be a little insulted to be tarred with the Y brush.
I also have massive issues with the term Generation Z, we've all heard the term used, however if we are going by collective use as a guide, surely 'Millennial' would be the preferred term? Finally just don't get me started on Generation Next. Obvious and lazy.
The great thing about 'The Generations' is that they eloquently summerise a general state of mind within a demographic set. They relate to aspirations, actions and beliefs of an influential section of that generation, they are not the generation as a whole. For people in the business of understanding other people 'The Generations' are a platform to discuss, research, theorise and summerise collective movements within a population. It's not an exact science and there are no definitive 'Generations' and that is why it is so bloody interesting. Gen Y are not a number and if you think they are...you will fail.