The Power Of YouTube: Don't Stop Believin'!

Journey's new singerTrue confession: I’m a karaoke junkie. My birthday is actually an annual sing down at a Chinese restaurant nestled in a strip mall near my house. My husband brought me back a little karaoke machine when he traveled to the Philippines, which lasts about 30 minutes before conking out. And while I know that love of karaoke is certainly not limited to younger people (hello “Duets”?), games like Rockband, Simon’s blistering karaoke insults on “Idol” and the endless tribute videos on YouTube have fueled a new generation of crooners.

When I saw this story about how Journey [yes, the same Journey that ended “The Sopranos” and made the series premiere of “Glee” so irresistible] found its new lead singer [on YouTube, natch!], I couldn’t look away. In a way it was like that Marky Mark movie about the cover band singer landing the gig with the real band - except that it also felt sort of reflective of what’s happening in global youth culture right now. That a young wringer for Steve Perry (or at least his voice) could post a video on YouTube and be “discovered” by the band’s original members feels like a modern narrative that is becoming more common (think: Esmée Denters).

We can probably credit karaoke for keeping bands like Journey relevant to youth across the Pacific Ocean. As for “classic rock” remaining relevant here - between the Woodstock resurgence our advisory board member Caro wrote about yesterday, VH1’s I love the 60s/70s/80s and classic tunes continuing to show up in pop culture [“500 Days of Summer” made me want to buy Hall & Oats’ greatest hits on iTunes immediately], well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked to hear a similar version of this story with another incomplete band from our collective past looking to capitalize on a pop culture resurgence—at least in the short term.…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

“I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because I prefer using my creativity to come up with an uncommon or personalized costume to wearing a mass-produced costume that won't be unique to me.” –Male, 24, CA

One entrepreneur has a big idea to change charity fundraising as we know it—and she’s only 10-years-old. Vivienne Harr started a lemonade stand for charity in 2012 that has turned into Make A Stand lemonade, a family company that donates 5% of each sale. Now, the Harrs are launching StandApp, a mobile platform for donating to and starting crowdfunded social good projects. Twitter’s founders have invested in the app, which tells users they can “make a stand and change the world in 3 steps and 30 seconds.” (Fast Company)

Vice media has established themselves as creators of online content that speaks to young consumers, and now they will launch a global, 24 hour TV network for their Millennial audience. The brand’s Vice News has gotten a reputation for tackling some of the biggest international stories before much more established news organizations, and CEO Shane Smith warned traditional media outlets that as the generation ages up, they will become obsolete, and sites like Vice and BuzzFeed are “the changing of the guard.” (The IndependentThe Drum)

Posting calories counts on menus isn’t necessarily making consumers choose healthier options, but a new study has found that if told what they would have to do to burn off those calories, teens are less likely to buy higher calorie or sugary drinks. When signs were posted in stores telling buyers things like, “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 5 miles of walking,” 40% of 12-18-year-olds who saw them said they changed their drink choice as a result. Even after the signs were removed these teens continued to make healthier choices. (Washington Post)

Italian clothing label Brandy Melville has reportedly become “one of the fastest growing popular brands among American teens,” but the company is not interested in selling to everyone: they sell most items only in size small. Abercrombie & Fitch has famously lost ground with young consumers thanks to their similarly exclusionary practices, and some teens are expressing their dissatisfaction on Melville’s Instagram, where they are asking for sizes that “fit all.” (Tech Times)

Many Millennials don’t trust banks (or any other large institutions) but it could be that financial organizations are missing a big opportunity with the generation. Adweek’s recent study found that 18-24-year-olds are more likely than other consumers to say they would trust a financial institution more if they provided helpful, unbiased content. But only 20% of respondents felt that these institutions are currently posting interesting articles. (Adweek)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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