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 honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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