Pepsi More Than Misses the Mark on The Viral List

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Pepsi learns a valuable lesson this week, Facebook’s Stories have inspired a new meme, a two-year-old and her doll go viral, and more trending links you have to see:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingPepsi More Than Missed the Mark

These days, every ad can be political and social good has become a powerful marketing force (especially with young consumers getting Activated). But as Pepsi learned the hard way, there is definitely a wrong way to go about it. On Tuesday, the brand released an ad centered around a protest, only to take it down a few days later after igniting the fury of a generation. The ad, in which model Kendall Jenner hands a Pepsi to a police officer to invoke peace, has been described as “cringeworthy,” and went viral thanks to accusations of trivializing a cause and appropriating imagery from protests against police brutality. The tone-deaf ad generated a massive social media response, the most notable from the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. Her tweet, with an image of her father being pushed back by police and the caption: “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi,” was retweeted over 150,000 times and liked over 250,000 times.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingEVERYTHING Is Getting a Stories Feature

This week the internet had some fun at Facebook’s expense. After the platform announced that, like Snapchat and Instagram, they too are adding a Stories feature, the internet wondered aloud what could be next—hence the viral “will have stories now” meme. Tweets with manipulated photos are announcing traffic tickets, printed books, hammers, Donald Trump, Microsoft’s Office Excel, and even bananas “will now have stories.” One of the more popular tweets, with a pregnancy test showing stories instead of results, has generated over 30,000 retweets and close to 90,000 likes.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingSophia and Her Doll Go Viral

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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