The Uncuttable Digital Apron Strings

no strings attachedIn this season of New Girl, a character's visiting mother threatens to punish him in an incredibly convincing way: by no longer paying for his cell phone. The character, Winston, is nearing 30-years-old, otherwise financially independent, and living with roommates; but his continued presence on his family plan is more true to life than comic relief. Many Millennials stay on their family cellphone plans and shared entertainment accounts with their parents footing the bill, even when making other steps toward independence.
 
Wall Street Journal article on the subject earlier this week tells us that 29% of parents of 18-to-35-year-olds continue to pay for their cellphone service even after the kids have moved out. Citing everything from empty nest syndrome to enjoying the access to the entertainment preferences of their young ones, the Boomer perspective is clearly laid out: the prolonged family plan keeps the connection to their kids alive. On top of this, the concept of cellphone and entertainment account independence is a completely new arena. Boomers themselves didn't have to contend with this as a right-of-passage, so they may not see cutting digital ties as a necessary step their own kids need to take on the road to adulthood. But how do Millennials feel about keeping their digital apron strings tied tight well into their 20s and 30s? 
 
In his Huffington Post response to the WSJ article, Danny Rubin posits that if your parents are still paying for your cellphone you are not a true adult, and for Millennials who are managing the onslaught of adulthood with a combination of anxiety and procrastination, that might not be such a bad thing. After all, being a grown-up is scary stuff, and even a small continued reliance on family is something of a comfort.
 
But it might not just…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I like shopping at Trader Joe’s, because it’s a fun alternative to the usual chain supermarkets to pick up specialty items that are tasty.”—Male, 33, MD

This year’s Olympics will be the most social yet—thanks to the digital generation. According to a study, Facebook will be the leading platform adults use converse during the event, but 35% of 18-24-year-olds and 19% of 25-34-year-olds plan to use Snapchat to share Olympic content. Compared to other age groups, Millennials will be two times more interested in human-interest stories and meme-worthy moments during the event. (Business Wire

Promposals aren't just a viral trend, they are now the most expensive prom cost for some. A study by Visa Inc. has found that an American household spends an average of $324 on promposing, and parents are increasingly footing the bill: In 2015, parents paid for up to 73% in of prom costs, up from 56% in 2014. Companies like The Heart Bandits are cashing in on the trend by charging upwards of $1000 to plan promposals, and brands are as well: Men’s Wearhouse Inc. declared March 11th promposal day on social media to sell tuxes for the occasion. (Bloomberg

Gap Inc. has launched a new athleisure line for children ages six to 14, bringing the high-fashion workout trend to the pre-teen set. Athleta Girl, an extension of the activewear brand Athleta, is categorized by activities like “run,” ”yoga and studio,” and “swim.” According to the fitness brand, the label was in demand: “A girls’ line is something our customers have been asking for. Girls today want to dress sporty. They are living more active lives.” Marketing and design for the line is leaning on girl power, with graphic tees showing off slogans like "Dream crazy big." (JezebelRacked)

As esports continues to grow, brands are figuring out to how to tap into the potential marketing goldmine. This year the global esports market will make $463 million, and will reportedly rake in $1.1 billion in 2019. Brands have begun sponsoring teams by adding their logos to players’ jerseys or hats, but they could potentially expand to leagues in the future. The key to effective branding will be “genuinely offering something new or valuable to the audience.” (VentureBeat)  

Can a brand create online influencers? In an approach that could be described as “reverse influencer marketing,” Mars is attempting to revive the classic candy bar 3 Musketeers with young consumers through a digital-only campaign featuring the “Musketeens”—three unknowns they want to turn into YouTube stars. The teens look and act like established YouTube influencers, and have been able to garner 400,000 video views. But the response has been split, with a large portion of users calling out the videos as annoying ads. (Digiday

Quote of the Day: “I consider luxury items as something that is nice to have, but that I can also live without.”—Female, 23, FL

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