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

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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