2018’s Gerber Baby Makes History on The Viral List

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Gerber makes history announcing a boy with down syndrome as 2018’s Gerber Baby, Doritos’ “lady-friendly” chips backfires, selfie kid wins the 2018 Super Bowl, and more stories to keep you up to date on what’s going viral:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing2018 Gerber Baby Makes History

This Wednesday, Gerber made history, announcing an 18-month-old boy with down syndrome as its 2018 Spokesbaby. Lucas Warren of Dalton, Georgia was chosen out of more than 140,000 babies in the company’s eighth annual Gerber Baby Photo Search for his “winning smile and joyful expression.” Along with winning $50,000, Warren will “take a front seat” on the brand’s social media channels throughout the year—and based on the internet’s response, many will be happy to see him there. According to his parents, they hope the brand’s choice “will impact everyone, that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community, and help more individuals with special needs be accepted.” Inclusive marketing has been desired by Millennials for quite some time now, and it’s especially important to young parents who want to see diversity reflected back to their own children.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingDoritos’ “Lady-Friendly” Chips Backfires

Doritos wants to make chips for women—and the Genreless Generation is not having it. In a recent episode of Freakonomics Radio, C.E.O of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi divulged the details behind their plans to create chips more suited for women, based on their findings that “a lot of the young guys eat the chips…and they lick their fingers with great glee…Women would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously.” “Lady Doritos” started to trend on social media soon after, with many women sarcastically pointing out that instead of equal pay or an end to sex…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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