Questions With A 23-Year-Old: Bryan Spencer

Want to know what's on Millennials' minds? We chat with them in our frequent feature "Questions With a Millennial" to provide you with answers and insight. In today's edition, we spoke with Bryan Spencer, a 23-year-old currently living in China.

Questions With a MillennialWhat are 5 things you couldn't live without?
1. iPhone
2. Kindle Fire
3. Credit Card
4. Amazon.com
5. Running shoes (Asics)

How do you typically watch TV? On a set or streaming? Alone or with family or friends? 

I usually stream TV — generally alone, but if a show is popular (“Walking Dead,” “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones,” “Office” … I could go on for a while!) I will watch it with friends on a TV set.

What's your preferred social network and why?

I like Facebook because I can chat with my friends back home. I generally use “WeChat,” an iPhone app that connects to the Chinese social network QQ … it’s cheaper than texting and all my friends here in China use it

About how often do you check your cellphone?

It would probably be easier to say how often I’m not looking at it! I generally just check for messages/emails and don’t surf the Internet on it very often or play games.Bryan 

What's the last thing you watched on YouTube?

The Vice Presidential Debate

How do you typically consume news, if at all?

I consume news online unless I’m taking the train or flying, and in that case, I’ll grab a paper. In terms of websites, I read The Atlantic, Economist, WSJ, CNN, and BBC. I also like news aggregators such as Reddit, and of course I watch “The Daily Show.”

What brand do you think really understands your generation and why?

I may be cheating because this is such an easy answer, but...Apple. People pay a premium for the brand because of Apple’s marketing and influence.
 

 
 

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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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