Whether you’re trying to understand the emerging power consumer group between childhood and teen, or anxiously awaiting to see what the next generation will be like, Maude Apatow is your hack in to understanding “tweens”. Having just grown out of the core tween target at 14, and with famous parents Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, her coming of age experience is a potent example of what’s happening now and on the horizon.
Maude is coming of age through social media, sharing every outlook (and getting feedback) one click at a time. Where Maude differs from the majority is that while most are tweeting from their classroom, Maude is tweeting from the royal wedding. However, where she reflects the majority is her cerebral transparency and aspirational wit. Like the rest of her age group, Maude is coming of age “on air”, but her audience is simply bigger; she already has more than 70,000 Twitter followers.
On the other hand, Maude also represents a shift in our culture being driven by younger Millennial stars, and it will influence a new normal for the next chapter in marketing best practices. Gone are the days of the “release”, a change driven by the entertainment industry where we’ve come to expect minute-by-minute updates — from blog coverage to status updates. What’s next, will be more of what we saw happen with Justin Bieber and The Hunger Games, where fans play an integral role from the beginning and melt the boundaries between Development and Marketing. Bieber cultivated an army of “#beliebers” early on that have sung his praises through every step of his rise to stardom. Scholastic looped readers in to early phases of editing The Hunger Games, a driving force behind the book’s injection in to pop culture.
This greater cultural phenomenon between brands and consumers driven by social media, represents the future. For major brands looking to build “loyalty”, we can learn from these younger Millennial stars that the twist on this traditional tactic is to let your target consumers in so early on in the process that you’re not even developed (or famous), and this army of advocates that were there from the start will carry your torch to the end of the world. Why? Because this is the power of the social media tween machine when they feel part of something big.
Jake Katz is charged with curating the “big picture” both within client projects, as well as managing the growth of Ypulse’s overall menu of offerings. Katz has a passion for decoding pop culture, and at 26, he has already worked with a variety of brands — from Nickelodeon to MTV to NBCUniversal — to help them understand trends in youth culture. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and is a proud member of the “Avocado of the Month” club.