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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“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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