It’s Promposal Season: Inside Today’s Teen Magazines

We dug through the pages of this month's Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and (new!) Tiger Beat (so you don't have to) and found the biggest topics to know...

In between the trauma-ramas, the new fashion trends (hint: it's always denim), the horoscopes, and the starlets, teen magazines are a treasure trove of information about being a teen today. Even the design of the issues can speak volumes about what appeals to young consumers right now. Tiger Beat, which has catered to teens for six decades, has revamped their pages to appeal to the new generation. Their covers once featured busy collages of famous faces, but now focus on one star, including up and comer digital celebrities. (Fame has been redefined, after all). The magazine's online presence has gotten the biggest makeover: a redesigned website, and more digital editorial content. We added it to our pile of pink pages to find out more. Here are three things we learned from this month's teen mag issues: 

1. It's Promposal Season

Forget the endless ads for sparkly dresses, these days you can tell prom is approaching when teen magazines start to feature stories the cutest and most creative promposals. The promposal trend, which we spotted in 2014, has only been growing and now brands are getting in on the public “will you go to prom with me” spectacles. MTV launched “Promposal Mania” last year, orchestrating promposal stunts with pop stars and broadcasting them on Snapchat and Periscope. Sour Patch Kids also asked teens to submit their promposal stories on social, and hosted a prom for the winners of the competition. Seventeen and Tiger Beat both feature reader-submitted stories of real life promposals, including gay and straight besties who asked one another, and one boyfriend who asked via a Facebook photos of a trip to Paris. 

2. The…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “Being famous is overrated. I would be more happy [sic] being locally known for the good I do in the world in a popular way but not for the wrong reasons.”—Female, 16, UT

Minecraft is being used to get kids interested in reading actual, real books. Litcraft recreates the world of a book as an interactive Minecraft map, adding “educational tasks” throughout. Treasure Island was the first completed world, followed by Kensuke's Kingdom, while The Lord of the Flies and Dante’s Inferno are in the works. Trials at U.K. schools are being met with “an enthusiastic response,” so Litcraft is eyeing a larger rollout. (The Guardian)

Nordstrom is stocking up on Instafamous brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and Reformation. The company announced that “strategic” brands account for about 40% of their current revenue and that’s expected to rise. While they benefit from indie brands’ popularity with young consumers, the direct-to-consumer brands are getting an expanded physical footprint, too. In the case of Reformation, Nordstrom explains that they “can bring sustainable fashion to a new (and much bigger) group of customers and closets.” (Business Insider)

A baseball team struck out with their “Millennial Night” promotion, putting Twitter in an uproar. We’ve warned brands that making fun of Millennials is not the way to get earn their spending power, and minor league baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits learned the lesson first-hand. Their “Millennial Night” offered participation ribbons, selfie stations, napping areas, and “lots of avocados,” while playing into stereotypes about Millennials being lazy. A Biscuits exec explains that “Something got lost in the sarcasm,” but instead of offering an apology, they doubled down with another cutting tweet. (AdweekInc.)

Nearly half of Millennials think that “their credit scores are holding them back.” OppLoans found that 27% of 18-34-year-olds haven’t been approved for a new car because of their credit while 25% have been declined for an apartment or house. Debt, a top financial concern for Millennials, is partly to blame: 15% said that their debt “is unmanageable.” Education could help dig them out of the hole, as 24% feel they’ve never learned how to build good credit. (Moneyish)

Baby Einstein is growing up for Millennial parents with a new mission and campaign. Their “Ignite a Curious Mind” effort goes after parents, not kids, with short spots that encourage curiosity. They’re also working on new toys, moving beyond their “sweet spot” of zero to 12 months for toddlers. Baby Einstein’s parent company, Kids II is also planning on reworking other brands, like Bright Starts and Ingenuity. (Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[American Eagle Outfitters’] clothes are generally what I wear and are my style. They're comfortable and affordable. They do not do a great deal of vanity sizing and offer something for guys and girls of every size.”—Female, 23, GA

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