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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies