Q&A With WDCW On Their Class Of 2012 Study

WDCWWe’re always interested in Millennials’ attitudes and how they view the world around them, so when we learned that WDCW (Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener), an independent advertising agency, conducted a study on the Class of 2012, we were eager to hear their findings. Their study examines high school seniors' outlook on the world they’re entering and their feelings during this transitional time. Their findings reinforce the idea that Millennials are an optimistic generation. They’re excited for what’s ahead — the college experience, continuing to find themselves, and making more friends, and they value experiences knowing that new challenges allow for growth and learning.

We chatted with Clyde McKendrick, Executive Strategy Director at WDCW, who founded Cultural Capital®, an innovation and insight lab with a pioneering approach to measuring cultural relevance for brands, and Sydney Chernish, Strategic Planner, about their Class of 2012 study, what matters to seniors, and what their attitudes and interests mean for brands.

Ypulse: In your study, you discuss prom and how it’s a time to be with your friends. To Millennials, it’s not about how fancy it is or the details, but the experience and celebration of being with their peers. So how do you see this idea — the focus on experiences over consumerism — playing out, and what do brands have to do to stay relevant with this new Millennial mindset?

Clyde McKendrick: Firstly, there’s an idea among consumers about living now. Just as a personal diatribe to that, when I was working at Pepsi, we were working on the refresh project at the time, and I kept saying that we need to focus on “living now,” which is the brand's current campaign.

One of the insights of our study is that social media has had a transformative effect on people’s lives.…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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