Things You Should Know: Brandjacking

 

Welcome to Things You Should Know, our new ongoing series on Millennial-fueled trends, slang, and memes that will keep you up-to-date on everything happening in youth culture. 

Last week, media organizations began to report that online vigilante group Anonymous had hacked Westboro Baptist Church’s Facebook page after the church announced they would be picketing the funerals of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. But the truth soon came to light: Westboro had never had ownership over the page at all; Anonymous had started the fake page themselves months before. Westboro had been brandjacked.

The term brandjacking has been in use since around 2007, when it was used in an article in Businessweek describing the new problems that corporations were facing protecting their reputations online from “cybersquatters,” individuals using unauthorized trademarked name or phrase in a domain name. These days the practice of brandjacking has become much more complicated. Brands’ reputations online are as vulnerable as consumers’—perhaps more so because they are bigger more alluring targets with more public failings. And because brands don't have emotions or feelings, to Millennials don't see it as bullying. For this generation, trusting what they read online is already a dubious process, and with brandjacking becoming more common, the veracity of every brand message, profile, and campaign is up for questioning. In an era of catfishing and profile hacking, brands are not above having their identities stolen, and brandjacking is taking on many forms.

The Social Media Brandjack: Perhaps the most common form of brandjacking is a fake social media profile for a brand being set up in order to mess with that brand’s reputation. In the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, a Twitter feed under the handle…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without marathoning a television show.” –Female, 31, NV

The Pitches are back. Yesterday the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to the cult hit 2012 aca-awesome movie, landed on the internet and the buzz is already huge. The trailer has been viewed over 6 million times in 24 hours. Pitch Perfect 2 will be out in May 2015, so fans have a while to wait, but as you can see in today's Instant Poll they'll be ready to watch. (Slash Film)

Last week, teen singer Lorde taught adults some new slang “the youthz” use when she tweeted out a compliment to Kim Kardashian. Lorde retweeted Kardashian’s internet breaking Paper cover with the comment “Mom,” which many not in-the-know interpreted as a criticism. But in reality saying “mom” to a celeb is a common compliment, meaning “adopt me/be my second mom/i think of you as a mother figure you are so epic.” (BuzzFeed)

Bailey’s is targeting Millennial women with a global campaign that “celebrates the ‘power of female friendship.’” To create a spot that would appeal to a new generation of women, the agency team and production team were predominantly female. The commercial features women around the world going out on the town together and the brand hopes it will show Bailey’s has “a meaningful role in a girls night out…[after] having had been hidden at home for far too long.” (The Drum)

The maker of the infamous Hot or Not site is back with a new, unexpected app for new parents and kids. His latest project, Cakey, is a free YouTube app that allows parents to create playlists of kid-safe videos, and choose from lists that other parents’ have shared. The simple app also includes an option that pauses video and says, “Okay, take a bite” for parents who are using Cakey to convince picky kids to eat. (Recode)

Two high schools in southern California were shut down this week thanks to threats that were posted on Yik Yak, the anonymous app that allows users to see messages from anyone in a 1.5 mile radius. Reportedly threats “of mass shootings, bombings, or other violence” made through the app is becoming a growing problem. (Mashable)

The Daily Instant Poll gives you a quick snapshot of how Millennials are weighing in on the topics that are making headlines, but there's more to our mobile network of 2 million Millennials than what makes the newsletter. Ten of our most recent featured Instant Poll results are available to Ypulse.com Silver and Gold subscribers, allowing them to compare the responses of various demographics. (Ypulse)

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