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: “Quite frankly there are guys clothes I like sometimes but I never could wear. I mean, I'm not a cross dresser! But if they had something in my size and shape, totally. I would buy it.” –Female, 14, OH

Three singles from Ariana Grande’s sophomore album My Everything have already infiltrated the top 10 on iTunes before its release, but she is going beyond online hype for a triple marketing threat. The 21-year-old will appear with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj in a 2-part commercial that tells the story of a night out and its aftermath using clips from their music video collaboration. The commercials, branded with Beats and Target, will air during the MTV VMAs where Grande will also perform live, all one day before the album drops. (WSJ)

SoundCloud is going the way of Spotify by introducing a tiered subscription service that will also bring advertising (read: revenue) to the platform. The first Partner tier offers helpful feedback and basic statistic tools and will be free for the 10 million plus creators heard on SoundCloud each year. This announcement comes months after new streaming services like Beats Music flooded the market, and its latecomer status may prove helpful for Millennial listeners who are already accustomed to in-app ads or paying to opt out. (TechCrunch)

First pizza becomes a one-button business, and now video editing is being democratized for the masses with new app Fly that “makes big-time, Cannes-ready cutting room floor techniques as simple and intuitive as a flick of the finger.” The one-touch, video editing app makes simple edits like cuts and transitions, but also allows users to put videos side-by-side and stitch together different cameras to capture multiple viewpoints of an event. (Netted)

Millennials have been experiencing a disconnect with “luxury,”and Louis Vuitton has been seeing declining sales across Asia despite its prominence and ubiquity with global consumers. To hold onto its market, LVMH is diversifying into entertainment, specifically into K-pop. The company has bought millions of shares in South Korea’s YG Entertainment, one of the major players in K-pop’s explosion and the same enterprise that represents the genre’s hottest stars and fashion icons: Psy and G-Dragon. (Quartz)

Approximately $458 million was spent last year investing in wearable tech, but as product offerings become more diverse across patches, watches, and clothes, they’re losing a focused purpose and the attention of the general Millennial buyer. In a study from textbook service Chegg, out of 1,000 college students, 67% had not even heard of the term “wearables,” and of the 18% who do own a wearable device, the majority had bought inexpensive activity trackers. (PandoDaily)

Quote of the Day: "An athletic hoodie never goes out of style according to me. It's easy, can get dirty, and you'll show a bit of school pride. Besides, no one expects you to look top dollar every day in graduate school.” –Male, 27, MD

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