Olympic Sex Symbols

FHM cover While the original Olympics may have included naked athletes, the current Olympics is definitely coming close to that ideal—especially in sports like beach volleyball. I’m always checking Yahoo! to see what stories and photos are “most popular” online and for the past two weeks its been homoerotic photos female Olympic athletes embracing after victory, patting each other on the…you get the picture. I guess teens get the picture, too. Buzz Marketing sent over a nice summary of how this year’s Olympic games and the subsequent ads and sponsorships featuring athlestes may have crossed the line between sexiness and lack of taste.

From their release:

“High Jumper Amy Akuffa has posed for Playboy, and then partnered with
volleyball player Logan Tom, long jumper Jenny Adams and swimmers
Amanda Beard and Haley Cope for a seductive FHM cover.  But it is not just the women that are sexy- swimmer Ian Thorpe has started an underwear line.”

Buzz’s Blue Fusion research division asked their teens what they thought of the sexiness factor in this year’s Olympics and found “Gen-Y appreciates an athlete who’s not in a regular sport like football or basketball, but the use of heavy sex appeal is transparent to the savvy teen viewers.” Basically all this skin is rubbing today’s now modest/preppy/conservative teens the wrong way.

“While watching the male swimmers splash to the finish line at the
Olympics, one thing was on my mind - why were their swimming trunks so low and tight?...Are they trying to be the next breed of athletes turned sex symbols?...(Making their sport top priority) instead of a Hollywood/sex symbol/make more money attitude I truly believe would make them more sexy.”

Danasia, 17, Ft. Lauderdale

 

 
 

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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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