The Serious Faux Pas: Athletes

In today’s segment of our Serious Faux Pas series, we’re looking at the modern misstep of athletes who take themselves too seriously and how the age of the hyped up self-aggrandizing sports icon has ended.
 

Growing up, Xers (and older Millennials) had a transcendent sports icon to look up to: the great and powerful Michael Jordan. Jordan gave rise to the idea of the icon athlete as an endorser, and even recently was called “the endorsement king of all ages” by Forbes. Almost all of his endorsements celebrated his prowess as an athlete. At the height of his stardom, kids across America were inundated with the call to “be like Mike” thanks to his Gatorade commercials. He was someone to aspire to become, but always maintained a safe distance from his fans and teammates—an untouchable hero. ESPN has called him “the archetype of the hero athlete and the living embodiment of success.” Jordan took himself seriously, was not humble, and didn’t mind coming off as arrogant and self-aggrandizing. In his Hall of Fame induction speech, he infamously ran through a list of all the individuals who had not believed in him or held him back in some way by name to emphasize how much he had succeeded despite them. 

But a serious shift has occurred since the age of Jordan and the athlete hero-on-a-pedestal. Millennials aren’t looking for hero athletes, but athletes who can joke, banter, and create irreverent material— even at their own expense. Sports stars today who commit the Serious Faux Pas risk having their fan bases turn on them. That lesson was exemplified in the aftermath of the publicity circus surrounding LeBron James' decision to join the Miami Heat. After he and his marketing team created a television special to announce "The Decision," fans vilified him, and it has taken years to rebuild his…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I haven’t had children yet because I prefer to breed with an intelligent female, but none of them are single.” –Male, 30, KY

Instagram is reporting that their first native advertising tests have been a success. According to the network, Taco Bell reached 12.5 million 18-44-year-olds in the U.S. with their campaign, and saw a significant lift in ad recall. Chobani reached 4 million 18-54-year-olds, and was able to shift perceptions away from the idea that their product was only for breakfast. Chobani’s tips for Instagram success include avoiding professional looking shots, and not overbranding. These results echo our prediction that Snapshot Marketing is an essential next step for brands, and that content should fit in with what is already being created by consumers. (Mashable)

Instagram is reporting that their first native advertising tests have been a success. According to the network, Taco Bell reached 12.5 million 18-44-year-olds in the U.S. with their campaign, and saw a significant lift in ad recall. Chobani reached 4 million 18-54-year-olds, and was able to shift perceptions away from the idea that their product was only for breakfast. Chobani’s tips for Instagram success include avoiding professional looking shots, and not overbranding. These results echo our prediction that Snapshot Marketing is an essential next step for brands, and that content should fit in with what is already being created by consumers. (Mashable)

Today’s teens and tweens might be finding much of their entertainment online and in short doses, but in other ways they are being given an entertainment experience that sometimes feels photocopied from older Millennials’ childhoods. Case in point: Sony is producing a reboot of the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, continuing the trend of ‘90s films and TV being revisited for a new wave of young viewers. (Jezebel)

Millennials drew the short stick when it comes to economic security, but they may be getting their financial bearings. In 2013, the income of young Americans' households actually rose 10.5% from the year before. In previous years, households headed by 15-24-year-olds generally dropped more than other age groups. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the recession's impact on the generation is overcome, it is a hopeful sign that not as much damage was done as was feared. (WSJ)

We’re in the midst of a fashion speed tug of war, with some brands leaning into fast fashion and others extolling a less is more attitude. But those brands who feel they need to keep up with the Forever 21s of the world should take note: Patagonia’s “anti-fast fashion” message is paying off. The clothing company has been encouraging customers to buy less, famously running ads that say “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” and their profits have tripled since 2008. (Business Insider)

Teen drug use, binge drinking, and smoking are all on the decline, according to a new federal report. The study found that substance dependence or abuse problems among 12-17-year-olds dropped from 8.9% to 5.2% from 2002 and 2013, and rates of drug abuse went from close to 12% to under 9%. However, the reasons behind these drops is somewhat of a mystery, as the percentage of teens who have seen prevention messages during the same time period has actually declined. (CBSNewsweek)

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