Kids Of The 90s Are Nostalgic, And Nickelodeon Satisfies Their Longing

The 90s Are All ThatNa na na-na-na; the opening credits to Nickelodeon’s hit 90s show “Clarissa Explains It All” (1991-1994) begins. A teenage Melissa Joan Hart pops up onscreen in a crop top and high ponytail as retro graphics and the all too familiar theme song introduces an episode of one of Gen Y’s favorite shows. Comfort TV is back in all its glory for today’s college students and 20-somethings to enjoy. Crop tops are cool again, but even more popular is this retro programming. In fact, it’s “all that!”

Last week, Nickelodeon debuted “The 90s Are All That,” its wildly successful new programming block, where hit shows from “the good old days” are played weekdays from 12am – 4am. The name refers to the network’s sketch comedy show “All That” (1994-2005) and couldn’t be more fitting. After one night, it became evident that this late night block of 90s shows — which currently includes “All That,” “Kenan & Kel” (1996-2000), “Clarissa Explains It All,” and “Doug” (1991-1994) — is the best idea since orange soda. Nickelodeon currently leads with 7-17 year olds, but this addition marks a major change in attracting young adults.

During the programming block’s premiere on Monday, July 25, “The 90s” reached ratings 850% higher than the channel’s previous average in the 12am – 2am block according to Nielsen Media Research. All four shows in the lineup were among the top 10 programs on basic cable for the night, averaging 555,000 total viewers. Millennials tend to stay up late, so they’re grateful for this alternative to late night talk shows.

Moreover, Nickelodeon references flooded the Twittersphere earning the network an impressive 20 worldwide trending topics. “The 90s Are All That” Facebook page reached 200,000 fans overnight, double what…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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