Despite a failing economy, employment woes and the weakening automotive industry, Millennials–people who were born between 1980 and 1990–remain confident about what 2009 will have in store for them.

According to an omnibus survey conducted by StrategyOne on behalf of Pepsi, four out of five Millennials are hopeful about the future as the New Year approaches, and nearly all surveyed (95 percent) agree that it is important for them to maintain a positive outlook on life.

More than 2,000 Americans were surveyed as part of the Pepsi Optimism Project (POP), a new and ongoing study examining the mindset of Millennials. The survey comes as Pepsi launches a branding initiative that is part of a significant, multiyear reinvestment in carbonated soft drinks. An advertising campaign featuring a consistent theme of optimism that mirrors the current social climate will debut shortly.

“Children of the ’80s and ’90s inherently feel a strong sense of optimism in the future and their ability to shape it,” says Lisa Orrell, generation relations expert and author of Millennials Incorporated. “This age group feels refreshingly unencumbered by history or tradition, a feeling that they can accomplish anything they resolve to achieve.”

According to the POP survey, Millennials spend more time enjoying life than worrying about it and this group is most optimistic about their overall well-being and relationships with friends and family. Other findings include:

* With the season of good will upon us, 74 percent find that supporting causes make them feel more optimistic.

* Despite recent job forecasts, 77 percent of millennials report having a strong sense of optimism about their careers.

* Nearly all Millennials (95 percent) make positive associations when they think of the word “change,” associating it with “progress” (78 percent), “hope” (77 percent), and “excitement” (72 percent).

* Two-thirds of Millennials (67 percent) say that the election of Barack Obama is making them feel optimistic about the future of the country.

Fueled by an excitement for change and an eagerness to shape their own destinies, millennials are gearing up to make 2009 their year. Orrell concludes, “With so much to worry about over the next several months, maybe we would all be better served taking on this group’s optimism.”

News, PepsiAmericas