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

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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