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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There's been a resurgence in the home cook, and that's been my biggest interest. There's increasing amounts of high-quality, interesting produce and recipes to use.”—Male, 29 ,NC

Millennial moms are a coveted demographic for marketers, but are ads missing the mark when portraying them? A recent global study found that advertisers “may be overestimating the value women place on appearances during early motherhood:” only 30% of new mothers and pregnant women would use “beautiful” to describe themselves, but 63% say marketers have used the term to described people like them. These “airbrushed version[s] of motherhood,” could cost brands consumers, as six in 10 Millennial moms stating they rather see real moms in ads instead of actors. (Campaign US)

The financial crisis has triggered distrust between Millennials and financial institutions, negatively affecting traditional banks. At first glance the future of banks looks grim: 71% of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than to the bank, 73% are more interested in financial services from Google and Amazon than established banks, and 33% believed they won’t need banks in five years. However, banks have the opportunity to cater to Millennials by putting digital first: 74% say mobile banking is very important to them, and 40% said they rather communicate with banks via email and websites. (Avoka

When we asked Millennials and teens what would make them eat at McDonald’s, customization and variety was one theme we uncovered, and the chain is making changes to give them what they want. The brand’s new “Create Your Taste” effort uses touch-screen kiosks that allow for ordering one-of-kind burgers with “multiple bun options, specialty sauces, and unique toppings.” Presentation and quality are also on par with fast casual restaurants: burgers and fries are served in “trendy metal mesh basket[s],” and the ingredients are reportedly “of shockingly good quality.” The update is a continuation of McDonald’s turnaround plan, which introduced all-day breakfast last year and revived sales. (Business Insider

Brands looking to work with digital influencers should take note: There is actually a possibility of being too popular online. Once social media influencers reach a “critical mass” of followers, audience engagement begins decreasing, and continues to drop as their follower count rises. However, “micro-influencers,” or accounts that have a following between the 10,000-100,000 range, “get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.” For these micro-influencers, sponsored posts take a back seat to their personal content, creating a more authentic tone—and they  may present a “sweet spot” for marketers. (Digiday

Obsessee is a media brand with no publication and no website, and it could be the future of magazines for Gen Z. The “fashion-focused digital entity” tailors content to each of the various platforms it lives on, which currently includes Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Spotify, Periscope and Google Plus. This native content multi-platform approach was conceived when research showed 14-22-year-olds avoid websites, prefer content on social media channels, and would rather get information from individuals instead of brands. Obsessee conversational, positive content targets Gen Z values: “approachability, inclusivity and authenticity.” (Fashionista

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

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