Scandal in the Age of Acceptance

This Monday, we took a look at how Millennial attitudes are shifting their views on just what can be deemed scandalous in The End Of Scandal As We Know It. We also told you that though they may be changing, scandals will not become extinct and that new issues that matter to Millennials will rise up to take the place of the traditionally taboo public behaviors. For this generation, scandals will be made up of those things that Millennials find socially unpalatable, like corporate discrimination and cover-ups. In this world, there is such a thing as bad PR — because while Millennials are quick to forgive personal missteps and brand product and marketing failures, publicly aired opinions that don’t fit into their worldview are scandal igniters. Here’s a look at some recent scandals that signify the shift:

 

1. A&F’s “Cool Kids” Comments

Abercrombie & Fitch has had a serious branding problem and PR scandal on their hands since comments that CEO Mike Jeffries made that the youth retailer does not produce plus-sized clothing because they “go after the cool kids” were publicized earlier this month. The comments incited a wave of anger and reactions from consumers online and off. Interestingly, the interview in which these comments were made is seven years old, a fact that is significant in a few ways. First, the public perception of what brands are responsible for, how they should act, and the plus-sized clothing acceptance movement has changed significantly in that time. Second, Millennials have aged up and become more economically and culturally influential since 2007. Finally, the internet means that everything a brand puts out into the public can affect their reputation—even if years have past since the gaffe. Millennials, a generation that has been taught that acceptance is the…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite online celebrity is Jenna Marbles because she is hilarious and weird. I like how honest she is.”

— Female, 22, CA

Millennials are looking for multicultural products. According to a new Harris poll, over eight in ten 18-34-year-olds say they love exposure to different cultures, and about 32% say that purchasing and consuming foods with “multicultural flavors” is very important, compared to 27% of 35-44-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds. Almost half of Millennials also say they’re willing to spend more on brands that understand multicultural needs, and 65% agree they’re more likely to shop with a retailer that offers a wide selection of multicultural products.
(Drug Store News

National Geographic Kids is joining the chatbot revolution with a T-Rex bot. Tina the T-Rex is one of the latest bots to join Facebook Messenger, and was created to answer kids’ questions about dinosaurs. Tina’s ultimate goal is to sell subscriptions—she prompts users to sign up for the magazine at the end of conversations—and to let the brand get “into the mindset of its readers,” to form more personal relationships. Since Facebook accounts are limited to 13-year-old and older, National Geographic Kids hopes that, like their magazine, parents will use the bot along with their kids. (Digiday

Universal has discovered the “magic formula” to bring in Millennial dollars. According to a Foursquare analysis of foot traffic to theme parks, market share for Universal’s parks increased from 11% to 15-16% between 2014 to 2016, and almost half of the visitors during that time were 18-34-year-olds. Wizards and zombies are reportedly drawing in Millennials: Universal’s 2014 launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter spurred a 25% increase in visits mostly from Millennials for several weeks, and a recently opened Walking Dead attraction bought in 35% more Millennials than usual. (Skift

Brands who have jumped into VR may be making a very smart investment. A new survey from Greenlight VR reveals that over half of adult consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR over a brand that doesn’t, most likely because 71% believe brands that use the technology seem more "forward-thinking and modern." Even consumers who have yet to try VR “had good things to say about the technology:” over nine in ten report “positive feelings” after watching an informational video on VR, 65% say they are interested in trying it, and 32% are surprised with its capabilities. (Adweek

GoldieBlox is continuing to go digital to spread the fundamentals of coding to kids. The educational brand “best known for its line of engineering toys aimed at young girls,” has launched their first paid app, GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding. The puzzle-centric game follows Goldie, a young engineer delivering cupcakes, and asks players to “execute a sequence of commands,” to get her from one destination to another. The company has begun splitting their product development efforts between physical and digital, because “kids are spending increasingly more time playing on devices.” (TechCrunch

Quote of the Day: “You want me to list every concert I’ve been to in the past year? Are you nuts? I've been to like 30 so far this year.”

—Male, 29, NY

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