Why Justin Timberlake Should Be Your Millennial Marketing Consultant

Just like the teenager who grows into themselves, realizing their likes, dislikes and personal form of expression – especially while experimenting in college – so too, did Justin Timberlake. The Millennial generation came of age alongside Justin Timberlake, after 2001 saw N Sync’s “Pop” become the bubble gum hit sensation that high schoolers couldn’t resist. With a few junior albums along the way, Justin Timberlake has officially released his most mature self; all grown up and ready to reinvent business models. Continuing to mirror the Millennial generation who has become hyper aware of their digital self, so has Justin Timberlake. He has embraced every social platform for his brand as he possibly can, and not just through the usual channels but through his signature gaming that has enabled him to become a cultural icon.

Last week, we reported that Justin Timberlake was back in the game with his new album 20/20. Instead of releasing it to iTunes right away, or mysteriously having it “illegally leaked online”, JT has embraced the best of both worlds by releasing the entire album for free on iTunes and Spotify one week before its official album release date (oddly enough, legend David Bowie did just the same a few weeks ago).  He was also featured on SNL last weekend, as an official addition to the “Five-Timers Club” honoring his past appearances, which have infiltrated Millennial pop culture humor. The SNL episode gave them the top-rated episode in 14 months; another angle to JT’s business-strategy savvyness. 

20/20 is the most mature of any album we’ve seen from Timberlake. With the launch of his first single from the album, Suit & Tie, Justin Timberlake is bringing the clearly-needed suave man back in an era of “geek chic”, beards (see IFC’s Whisker Wars) hooded sweatshirts…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I thought that this past Cyber Monday, ThinkGeek had the best deals.” –Male, 26, IN
The true impact of mobile devices on young minds has not been fully determined, and public belief seems to be split on the influence of technology on kids and family. A new global survey found that, 53% agree that “digital technology and the internet are ruining childhood." However, the degree to which individuals believe this varies significantly by country: while 70% of respondents in India agreed, 75% of those in Japan disagreed with the same statement. At the same time, 52% around the world felt that growing up without access to tech puts children at a disadvantage. (PRNewser)
In Ypulse’s 2015 Prediction Roundup, we told you smart tech was poised to take over our worlds, and according to several creative industry leaders, this could be one of the biggest challenges to brands this year. A round up of expert opinions on what will impact marketing in 2015 also includes the importance of merging digital and experiential marketing that “has the ability to be documented socially,” a continued obsession with celebrities and micro-celebs, and virtual reality (see Vice’s VR Millions March below). The need for brands to be more honest, empathetic, and to take a social stance is a major theme as well. (Fast Company)
Vice News, a Millennial dominated channel, is continuing their untraditional coverage style by introducing virtual reality to their audience. Vice demonstrated what the future of reporting might look like with their virtual reality coverage of the New York Millions March this past December. With Vice’s correspondent Alice Speri navigating the experience for the viewer, the use of a 360-degree camera system immerses viewers right in the action of the event. The Vice VR Millions March report is available to view through the app VRSE, and supports Google Cardboard, a cheap and easy way to watch VR. VR is still fairly new on the scene, but is a ripe opportunity for innovative and compelling storytelling. (TechCrunch)
Young consumers are leading a travel revolution, and it can be difficult for established brands to compete with the comfort, convenience, and authenticity an affordable home-rental Airbnb provides. In an attempt to win back Millennial guests, Marriot is launching Moxy, a microhotel chain that is redefining budget hotels by emphasizing self-service, style, and social. The hotels boast in-house bars, free Wi-Fi, fresh coffee, and rooms designed with Millennials in mind: simple, small, cheaper, and inspired by boutique aesthetics. Outside of the Moxy chain, Marriot is experimenting with other Millennial-friendly features, including TVs that allow guests to stream from their own Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora accounts. (The Washington Post)
“Millennials are projected to become the largest segment of the luxury consumer market by 2018-2020,” so understanding how they view luxury is increasingly important. As Ypulse explored in 2014, Millennials are redefining the luxury market to fit their needs. Luxury now can mean rarity, convenience, or an uncommon event, all separate from that age-old notion of pretense. This generation is more interested in showing off who they are than how much they make, the brand on the labels matter less than the story behind the product, and they’re focusing on purity, authenticity, and sustainability. At the same time, these young spenders are “showing a preference for discovering luxuries in a manner that is far more casual, experimental, and fun.” (Campaign)
Every other week we tap into our panel of 150,000+ Millennials in a survey of 1,000 13-32-year-olds for their take on current events, trending topics, changing attitudes, and new norms. The question library in the My Library tab on Ypulse.com allows Silver and Gold subscribers to see what we’ve asked and how we’ve asked it for every survey we've done, giving them a better understanding of how we talk to Millennials and an accessible data bank of all of the Millennial statistics available to them. (Ypulse)

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