Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Today’s post comes from Ypulse’s Research Intern Phil Savarese.

Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Millennials always want to be a part of something much bigger than themselves and the popularity of flash mobs is evidence to that. Social media makes it easier to orchestrate large events out of thin air and being part of a large group takes away the fear of being self-conscious to cut loose. A recent Lifeline quote stated: “Flash mobs are a big trend because it's easier to be crazy in a large group with a small amount of anonymity.” (Female, 25, FL).

But with the popularity and mass appeal of flash mobs, a sub-culture has emerged. Flash robs are a mischievous and dangerous type of flash mob, where participants (usually teens) gather at retail stores among other places and rush inside. Once there, they proceed to grab as much as they can and leave as quickly as possible. In and out.

Over the past few years, flash robs have become more common. Store owners are worried for the safety of both their customers and their stores profits. CBS New York reported on a wave of flash robs that have targeted various newsstands and convenience stores. One shop owner has been targeted a total seven times. In recent attacks, an employee was struck with a bottle and hospitalized while another left a customer with a broken arm. 

In 2011, the robberies got the attention of Washington state legislators. The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Mike Carroll proposed a law that will classify a flash rob as organized retail theft (a felony) if nine or more individuals planned the crime using electronic messages and collectively steal $250 (previously $750) or more. Other legislators are worried that the decrease in the minimum amount stolen will cause the…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I like shopping at Trader Joe’s, because it’s a fun alternative to the usual chain supermarkets to pick up specialty items that are tasty.”—Male, 33, MD

This year’s Olympics will be the most social yet—thanks to the digital generation. According to a study, Facebook will be the leading platform adults use converse during the event, but 35% of 18-24-year-olds and 19% of 25-34-year-olds plan to use Snapchat to share Olympic content. Compared to other age groups, Millennials will be two times more interested in human-interest stories and meme-worthy moments during the event. (Business Wire

Promposals aren't just a viral trend, they are now the most expensive prom cost for some. A study by Visa Inc. has found that an American household spends an average of $324 on promposing, and parents are increasingly footing the bill: In 2015, parents paid for up to 73% in of prom costs, up from 56% in 2014. Companies like The Heart Bandits are cashing in on the trend by charging upwards of $1000 to plan promposals, and brands are as well: Men’s Wearhouse Inc. declared March 11th promposal day on social media to sell tuxes for the occasion. (Bloomberg

Gap Inc. has launched a new athleisure line for children ages six to 14, bringing the high-fashion workout trend to the pre-teen set. Athleta Girl, an extension of the activewear brand Athleta, is categorized by activities like “run,” ”yoga and studio,” and “swim.” According to the fitness brand, the label was in demand: “A girls’ line is something our customers have been asking for. Girls today want to dress sporty. They are living more active lives.” Marketing and design for the line is leaning on girl power, with graphic tees showing off slogans like "Dream crazy big." (JezebelRacked)

As esports continues to grow, brands are figuring out to how to tap into the potential marketing goldmine. This year the global esports market will make $463 million, and will reportedly rake in $1.1 billion in 2019. Brands have begun sponsoring teams by adding their logos to players’ jerseys or hats, but they could potentially expand to leagues in the future. The key to effective branding will be “genuinely offering something new or valuable to the audience.” (VentureBeat)  

Can a brand create online influencers? In an approach that could be described as “reverse influencer marketing,” Mars is attempting to revive the classic candy bar 3 Musketeers with young consumers through a digital-only campaign featuring the “Musketeens”—three unknowns they want to turn into YouTube stars. The teens look and act like established YouTube influencers, and have been able to garner 400,000 video views. But the response has been split, with a large portion of users calling out the videos as annoying ads. (Digiday

Quote of the Day: “I consider luxury items as something that is nice to have, but that I can also live without.”—Female, 23, FL

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