Dispatches from the Millennial Mega Mashup: Marketing ‘The Hunger Games,’ Millennials’ Sense Of Humor

With the media options that Millennials have at their fingertips, it's easy for media properties to get lost in the clutter. Breaking through and grabbing young people's attention can seem like an impossible mission. But tying into Millennial traits and the sentiments they're feeling led to success for Scholastic's "Hunger Games" and Comedy Central's humor platform.

A Tribute To The "Hunger Games" Marketing Strategies

David Levithan, VP Editorial Director for Scholastic was on site to talk about the secret of “The Hunger Games” success. Ultimately, it was the luck of scoring a great book — the credit goes to the author because it was the content that drove the buzz. Levithan admitted that Scholastic could do the same marketing program all over again with a different book and it could fail miserably.

There were many stages of buzz and word of mouth in the process of promoting the book — and many different mouths that spread the word. The buzz started with two people, himself and the other editor, who both read the book over a weekend and who both had the same response: “Holy sh*t!” They knew from the beginning that they had a great book from an already acclaimed writer.

The next stage was to share the book within the company, and as each person read it, the buzz grew and the staff became evangelical about the book. Sharing the book outside the company, it began with their go-to teen readers, but also to the teens’ mothers, knowing it was a classic crossover book.

The more people who read the book, the better because the story spoke for itself. Going to the Book Expo — the biggest industry event — Scholastic chose to print nearly as many advance reader copies than a typical YA novel would sell. It gave the book away because they knew in return they would earn more evangelical…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“[Anna Victoria is] a good role model to women and is changing the way the world looks at fitness and body image.”—Female, 21, CA

Abercrombie & Fitch is going gender-neutral for their new kids’ clothing line. The “Everybody Collection” features “tops, bottoms, and accessories” for five-14-year-old boys and girls. A&F’s Brand President explained their decision to appeal to The Genreless Generation: "Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl.'' The line of 25 new styles will be rolling out online and to 70 stores, starting this month. (Today)

Millennials & Gen Z already think the Nintendo Switch is cool, and now the brand is giving them more ways to use it. They’re introducing Nintendo Labo, “cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences” for the Switch, tapping into the “toys-to-life” trend. The variety kit lets players construct five different “Toy-Con” experiences that include turning the Joy-Con controller into a motorbike handle complete with a throttle that can be twisted to accelerate, and creating a piano that senses which keys are pressed to produce the correct musical note. (Kidscreen)

YouTube is pulling Tide Pod Challenge videos from its platform. Teens started eating Tide pods when memes showcasing their Gusher-like colors went viral. The brand has since issued warnings not to eat the pods, and some stores have even begun locking up the product. YouTube has explained the decision to take down the popular pod-eating videos as a continuation of their policy to “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm." Some are suggesting that pressure from parent company Procter & Gamble may have also been a factor. (Mashable)

The streaming wars are continuing, but audiences are turning to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for very different kinds of content. Hub Entertainment Research found original content is winning users' time on Netflix, while over half watch Hulu for its syndicated collection, and movies are most popular on Amazon Prime. The study also found that most Americans overall spend their entertainment time watching TV (40%), but 18-24-year-olds are most likely to engage with gaming and online video, like YouTube. (Quartz)

Outdoor Voices embraced Millennials’ minimal moment to break onto the athleisure scene. The brandless brand goes for a minimalist aesthetic with pops of color, and sees itself as an anti-Nike of sorts. The founder explains that they’re “a recreational Nike” because “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best. With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s working: the company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, climbing a startling 800% in 2016 alone. (Vogue)

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

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