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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“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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