Q&A With MTV's A Thin Line — A GennY Award Winner A Year Later

A Thin LineToday we’re checking in with A Thin Line, MTV’s campaign against digital abuse and winner of Ypulse’s 2011 GennY Award, which recognizes best practices and new techniques in youth marketing campaigns. A Thin Line hasn’t stopped innovating in its mission to reach Millennials, taking it’s campaign international, creating a movie based on the knowledge it’s gained, balancing the inclusion of youth and celebrity voices, and, just today, announcing an exciting partnership with Rovio’s Angry Birds Space! Jason Rzepka, MTV’s VP of Public Affairs, fills us in on what the program has been up to since winning the award…

Have you put a new twist on traditional advertising, gone grassroots or guerilla, sparked social interest with Pinterest, or made the most of mobile marketing? We want to hear about how your company or brand has developed a unique program to target youth and Millennials for our 2012 GennY Award case study competition. This year’s grand prize winner, announced at the Millennial Mega Mashup, will join the stellar ranks of past recipients, including MTV’s A Thin Line. Submit your application by March 31, or click here for more details on the GennY Award.

Q&A With MTV’s A Thin Line — A GennY Award Winner A Year Later

Ypulse: MTV’s A Thin Line campaign won the GennY Award in June of last year. Since then we see that you’ve gone international, allowing visitors from outside the U.S. to post their stories about how they’ve been affected by bullying. What prompted that? Are bullying and digital abuse the same all over the world, or are there differences?

Jason Rzepka: We recently created several new ways for young people around the world to engage with the campaign, from joining in the conversation on which digital behaviors “cross the line,” to posting examples of how they’re…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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