Things You Should Know: Brandjacking

 

Welcome to Things You Should Know, our new ongoing series on Millennial-fueled trends, slang, and memes that will keep you up-to-date on everything happening in youth culture. 

Last week, media organizations began to report that online vigilante group Anonymous had hacked Westboro Baptist Church’s Facebook page after the church announced they would be picketing the funerals of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. But the truth soon came to light: Westboro had never had ownership over the page at all; Anonymous had started the fake page themselves months before. Westboro had been brandjacked.

The term brandjacking has been in use since around 2007, when it was used in an article in Businessweek describing the new problems that corporations were facing protecting their reputations online from “cybersquatters,” individuals using unauthorized trademarked name or phrase in a domain name. These days the practice of brandjacking has become much more complicated. Brands’ reputations online are as vulnerable as consumers’—perhaps more so because they are bigger more alluring targets with more public failings. And because brands don't have emotions or feelings, to Millennials don't see it as bullying. For this generation, trusting what they read online is already a dubious process, and with brandjacking becoming more common, the veracity of every brand message, profile, and campaign is up for questioning. In an era of catfishing and profile hacking, brands are not above having their identities stolen, and brandjacking is taking on many forms.

The Social Media Brandjack: Perhaps the most common form of brandjacking is a fake social media profile for a brand being set up in order to mess with that brand’s reputation. In the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, a Twitter feed under the handle…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I like shopping at Staples because they have good prices on supplies I need for school [and] electronics or other devices I may need.” –Female, 17, ID

For urban Millennials, getting married doesn’t necessarily mean saying goodbye to roommates. Members of the generation continue to mature into adulthood in an untraditional way, and with rent increasing dramatically, some are choosing living as husband and wife and roomie over a moving to smaller place, or having a longer commute. This acceptance of communal living could be a reflection of the rise of the sharing economy, as it becomes the norm to share everything from rides to the kitchen. (New York Times)

Although most of today’s 18-24-year-olds were still in high school or college during the Great Recession, it’s still affecting their career choices today. A survey from Way to Work found that 70% would prefer a stable job over a job they were passionate about but offered little security, and one third said finding that secure job was their top concern. 34% of Millennials named financial stability as their greatest aspiration. (Forbes)

According to some teens, “MTV is dying.” Hoping to reverse that sentiment, MTV will be introducing eight new series, and has 85 more in development, that are meant to reflect Millennials’ “unbridled optimism.” Upcoming series include a reality show about YouTube star Todrick Hall and a scripted comedy around Vine star Logan Paul—MTV likely has their fingers crossed these social media stars will bring their fans to the network. (Adweek)

YouTube channel AwesomenessTV has successfully hooked hundreds of thousands of young viewers, and now they’re setting their sights on a new audience: Millennial moms. Their new network Awestruck will premiere later this year, offering a wide range of female-centric series, from comedy to drama to talk shows featuring both online stars and Hollywood celebrities. The network hopes that young moms will turn to them as they consume more online video content. (StreamDaily)

What does it take to become “Insta-famous?” Sometimes it just takes being photographed in the right place at the right time. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte D’Alessio amassed tens of thousands of followers in just a few days when a photo of her and her best friend, model Josie Canseco, went viral at Coachella. From there Canseco and D’Alessio appeared on celebrities’ feeds, the Coachella account, and new fans’ Tumblr posts. The girls’ viral status speaks to how quickly notoriety can amass for young consumers in the age or micro-fame. (BuzzFeed)

Want to know Millennials' favorite fast food chain? How often they're dining out? What they order? Our most recent topline and date on 13-32-year-olds gave Gold subscribers the inside scoop on all their food and dining preferences. We deliver in-depth tables and a visual report to them every two weeks, covering another aspect of young consumers' behaviors, beliefs, and more. (Ypulse)

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