8 Questions With A 21-Year-Old: Charles Tong

Questions With a Millennial

We're back with our "Questions With a Millennial" feature to provide you with insights on Gen Y straight from the source. Today we chatted with Charles Tong, a 21-year-old college senior.

What’s one hobby that you’re really into right now?

Recently, I’ve discovered board gaming, and I have completely fallen in love with it. I hadn’t realized there were a ton of board games outside of Monopoly and Risk. These are very social games that involve a bit of luck and a lot of social interaction. Currently, I’ve been playing Pandemic, which has you and three other players try to solve a global disease. I’ve also been playing a ton of Battlestar Galactica, which can be best summed up as a crisis management game, while a few of your friends are secretly trying to make your life miserable. I discovered this hobby when my friend showed me the game Settlers of Catan, where you attempt to build the biggest colony on the island of Catan, and I fell in love immediately. The social aspect of these games make them very appealing, and have actually become a nice relaxing way to spend a night with friends.

What are 5 things you couldn’t live without?

1. Internet
2. Music
3. Friends
4. Books
5. Food

What are your favorite TV shows right now?

“A Game of Thrones,” “Doctor Who,” “The Wire,” and “The Legend of Korra”Charles

What about your favorite artists?

Ride, Bon Iver, Slowdive, Bjork, Passion Pit, Purity Ring, DeVotchKa, Spiritualized, M83, Neon Indian, Phoenix, Beach House, The XX, Wilco

What’s your preferred social network these days and why?

I use Facebook for personal usage. Everyone uses it already, and it allows me to manage many different networks easily and its built in messenger has become a de facto replacement for AIM. I also enjoy reddit because it easily connects me to…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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