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

“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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