Dispatches From The Tween And Gen Y Panels At The Millennial Mega Mashup

What better way to learn about youth at the Millennial Mega Mashup than by meeting members of this generation? Through the Smarty Pants’ annual tween panel and Ypulse’s annual Meet the Millennials Live Discussion we learned about what 8-27 year olds are interested in, their habits, what brands they love, and where they think companies can improve…

Insights From The Smarty Pants Tween Panel

Meet The Tweens

Kaitlyn, age 10 and in 4th grade, loves the brand Justice because of the cool clothes they sell and the journals she can write in; Lego friends because she can make buildings and it’s like an adventure; Barbie because she can play with them like they’re real people; Hello Kitty because she’s cute, and her iPod because she can go to YouTube, play games, and look up homework definitions. Her room is a mixture of Bella Thorne and Hello Kitty.

Savannah, age 10 and in 4th grade, loves Monster High because they’re different than other dolls and have cool accessories and clothes. She has a collection of stuffed animals, including a monkey, Miss Piggy, a pillow pet, and Angry Birds. She likes playing sports, including softball with her grandpa, and likes to play outside. She’s in Girl Scouts with her friends, including Kaitlyn, and likes it because it combines community service and fun activities.

Fernando, age 9 and in 3rd grade, likes to play with monster trucks. He’s played baseball, soccer, and basketball since he was younger. He has a flat screen TV in his room to watch movies and likes listening to music. He likes paintball — it’s fun even though it hurts sometimes. His favorite brands are Adidas and Nike because they’re colorful and comfortable. He likes the WWE and The Rock is his favorite celebrity.

Mia, age 9 and in 3rd grade, has decorated her own room with lamps and a…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

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

Magazine covers aren’t dying in the age of digital—even when publications go out of print. Digital-only covers are “captur[ing] the print magazine's tangible essence” while building hype for media brands on social media (especially Instagram). PorterComplexNylonGQ and more publications have taken on the trend, featuring celebrities like Chance the Rapper to Sophie Turner. For magazines looking for a comeback with young consumers, digital-only covers can “translate their own brand for the web." (Fashionista)

Following “a series of scandals,” YouTube is taking major steps to overhaul its video review process and ad placement policies. The new guidelines “kick tens of thousands of video makers out” of the ad program by requiring anyone who generates ad revenue to produce 4,000 hours of content and gain 1,000 subscribers in one year, upping the ante from the previous requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. YouTube is also promising to manually review every video in its top tier of advertising (Google Preferred), and they’ve hired 10,000 new employees in the last year to get the job done. (recode)

Some Millennial parents are applying their minimalist tendencies to their kids’ toy chests to battle play clutter with “toy limitation.” It’s not a new concept—some schools of thought that have “advocate[d] simple, open-ended toys” include Montessori, Waldorf, and RIE—and today’s advocates say limiting toys can improve focus and happiness. A report from the University of Toledo concluded that toddlers “played ‘better’” when given fewer toys, meaning they played with each toy for longer and in more creative ways. However, some parents worry that they’re “denying [their children’s] self-expression” when they limit toys, and so the debate continues. (Slate)

Tostitos is giving fans their very own personalized Super Bowl ads to invite friends to their game parties. The platform takes a user's name, address, and other invite info and spins it into a video perfect for Customization Nation. Each ad features a different combination of Super Bowl clichés, including a “talking baby, puppies, sassy older women, [and] a celebrity pitchman.” Considering Ypulse data shows 64% of 13-34-year-olds watched some or all of the 2017 Super Bowl with friends and family, it’s a safe bet at least some will be sending out invites, possibly with some Tostitos product placement this year. (Adweek)

Facebook’s new feature lets Groups co-view each other’s content. “Watch Party” allows Group admins to show any Facebook video to members simultaneously, and to comment on a “dedicated reel” for a “shared viewing experience.” The feature is another step towards the platform’s new goal to “encourage meaningful social interactions,” and their new focus on Groups. The push for social viewing could possibly be integrated into other aspects of Facebook and its properties, like group chats. (TechCrunch)

“I plan to go to a free barre class at a local studio that is offering them as part of a New Year's promotion.”—Female, 33, MA

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