The generation that came of age around the turn of the millennium gets a lot of criticism from the left and the right (and anonymous Internet commenters) for everything from being lazy and indolent to not being able to drive a stick shift.
As CNBC recently reported, the definition of a millennial depends greatly on who's doing the defining. Studies, surveys and newspaper articles reviewed by CNBC ranged in their definitions of "millennials" from those born in 1976 to 2010, a 36-year span than includes both the height of disco and the Obama administration.
This is important because it's the hope of reaching "millennials" that is often sold by marketing agencies to their clients hoping to reach this key demographic. While younger consumers tend to have less disposable income, they're often more frivolous with how they spend the money they do have, and reaching consumers when they're young can help companies capture life-long customers.
So when companies buy advertising directed at "millennials," they're targeting somewhere between 39 million Americans and 105 million, depending on who's doing the selling.