Unlocking The Power Of “Belieber” Marketing

Bieber in WingsWhether you’re a Belieber or not, there’s no denying that Justin Bieber has long been a teen phenomenon and is a model in the marketing world as well. He’s built an army of loyal fans from social media, paved the way for other artists to do the same, and remains a powerhouse performer and teen idol. We attended his concert at Madison Square Garden last night, where it became eminently clear why he’s still a favorite among tweens, teens, and twentysomethings; he continuously celebrates fans for being a part of his journey and for believing in him. This authentic attitude and his enormous appreciation for his fans is something that marketers across all industries can learn from and adopt.

Fans have always been a huge part of Bieber’s success from making his YouTube videos go viral to showing up at events to support him. Throughout the concert last night, he kept thanking his fans for all that they’ve done and even took time to express this in video form. Various clips of him circa his childhood YouTube days were shown on screen and Bieber noted how his fans helped discover and launch him to stardom. As a result, fans feel a strong attachment to him since they knew of him before he was famous, and in essence, were invited in to the process of making him a star. Brands can take note of this by inviting their consumers/fans in early as well, and letting them give their input in the creation of a product.

Bieber also went into detail discussing how fans have always been there for him, and he thanked them for everything they’ve done, no matter how big or small. They’ve tweeted about him and retweeted his links, bought his albums, merchandise and movie tickets, attended his concerts, made shirts, signs, and more. Many of the actions he mentioned related to fans sharing their love on social…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“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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