Meet The GennY 2012 Finalists: Part 2

The GennY Award recognizes best practices of those who have applied new and innovative techniques to connect and communicate with youth. The 2012 award will be given to one exceptional marketing campaign at the Millennial Mega Mashup next week, but we want to highlight the finalists to showcase the unique ways they’ve Millennialized their marketing efforts to reach this influential generation.

Category: Social Media
Wattpad/Sony Music Group

Wattpad and Sony Music Group partnered for a "transmedia experiment" in fan fiction focused on the rising Brit boy band One Direction. One of Wattpad's star writers created a story about each of the five band members designed to coordinate with the video for the band's single, "What Makes You Beautiful." Launching on Valentine's Day, the five-chapter eBook leveraged the band's international fans on Wattpad to spread the word to new American fans by sharing the story and video. The campaign hit a fever pitch when the band members themselves posted a note on the group's Facebook page thanking their new Wattpad fans.

Ypulse: How did you select the author for the campaign telling One Direction’s backstory? When turning over a brand to an outside writer, it can make the company nervous…

Wattpad: Sony approached us about the project after noticing that fan fiction was becoming an organic trend among One Direction fans in the UK and Europe. They wanted to test the waters with an officially sanctioned story to see what kind of reaction, awareness, and affinity it could drive. They were also excited to use a writer from within the Wattpad community, someone who knew the Wattpad landscape and the ins and outs of our community, but of course it was really important to find someone they could trust with their brand.

We recommended LD Crichton because…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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