YAB Member Reports: Selling Millennials on Celebrity Endorsement

Millennials have grown up as paparazzi culture has reached a fevered pitch. They are well used to tabloids and blogs touting celebrities as being "just like us!" while simultaneously looking for scandals and failings to broadcast to fans. For this generation, there is no mystery to their "idols," and as a result actually idolizing celebrities is a dying sentiment. Their unique experience with celebrity culture brings into question the effectiveness of traditional celebrity endorsement. How believable is a seal of approval from a celebrity when Millennials know more about their personalities and preferences than ever before? Add to this the fact that Millennials might just be the most media savvy generation to date, with full awareness of the machinery at work behind brands and their efforts to lure in consumers. They are a more critical audience, and to reach them, finding the right pairing of brand and celebrity is imperative. Today Youth Advisory Board member Maddie Flager is giving her first-hand Millennial perspective on when celebrity endorsement works and when it falls flat.

 

Selling Millennials on Celebrity Endorsement

There is a fine line between a well-placed celebrity endorsement and one that simply fails to connect. Here are two of the biggest factors Millennials use to judge celebrity-endorsement marketing.

1) Do the Celeb and Brand Personalities Match?

Perhaps the biggest factor in producing a successful celebrity ad campaign is choosing the right person: how well do the icon and the product fit together? Personally, I often find that the less an ad is outright about buying the product and instead features an idea, feeling or attitude that the product evokes the more I will pay attention to it.

Feels Right: Pepsi has matched celebrity with brand perfectly…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without cinnamon roll breakfast and watching The Twilight Zone marathon.” –Male, 13, CA

Millennials are first generation digital, and have broadcast countless moments of their lives online—but for the most part, they were in charge of their own digital images. For the next generation, this is not the case. Parents today post (often embarrassing, see above) photos of their offspring from the womb on, which destroys any hope of anonymity they might later have. One writer argues that parents should be vigilant about keeping their children’s images off the internet until they are mature enough to decide what they want their digital identity to be. (Slate)

“Me Me Me” and selfie-obsessed. In article after article, Millennials are accused of being the most narcissistic generation to date. But the data often cited to prove this claim might be flawed, and other research has “directly contradicted the idea that Millennials are the most narcissistic of previous generations.” In a study of high-school seniors across decades, little change in ideas about self-esteem and life satisfaction was found, and another found narcissistic behavior is linked to life-stage, not generation. (The Atlantic)

The next generation might be growing up with tech-galore, but they’re also reading some of the same classics the previous generation enjoyed. Book-reading data from 9.8 million students shows that Green Eggs and Ham is the number one book read by first and second graders, and made the top five book list for third graders. The data also shows that girls are reading more than boys, outpacing them after grade four. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Young consumers have made binge watching a media consumption norm, but the full impact of streaming services hasn’t been fully measured—until now. Nielsen will begin to track viewership data on Amazon and Netflix next month, providing content owners with information on the impact of licensing shows to these sites and whether streaming is “meaningfully eating into traditional television viewing.” Previously, Nielsen found that after signing up for streaming services, 18-34-year-olds watch TV less than they used to. (StreamdailyWall Street Journal)

Eek—2014 seems to be the year of bad Barbie press. This week a Barbie picture book titled I Can Be a Computer Engineer is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons—it turns out it teaches girls they can’t code without a boys’ help. Those protesting the book assert that it is perpetrates a cultural message that “computers are a boys thing,” when brands should be supporting girls who really do like to code. (Recode)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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