Why Justin Timberlake Should Be Your Millennial Marketing Consultant

Just like the teenager who grows into themselves, realizing their likes, dislikes and personal form of expression – especially while experimenting in college – so too, did Justin Timberlake. The Millennial generation came of age alongside Justin Timberlake, after 2001 saw N Sync’s “Pop” become the bubble gum hit sensation that high schoolers couldn’t resist. With a few junior albums along the way, Justin Timberlake has officially released his most mature self; all grown up and ready to reinvent business models. Continuing to mirror the Millennial generation who has become hyper aware of their digital self, so has Justin Timberlake. He has embraced every social platform for his brand as he possibly can, and not just through the usual channels but through his signature gaming that has enabled him to become a cultural icon.

Last week, we reported that Justin Timberlake was back in the game with his new album 20/20. Instead of releasing it to iTunes right away, or mysteriously having it “illegally leaked online”, JT has embraced the best of both worlds by releasing the entire album for free on iTunes and Spotify one week before its official album release date (oddly enough, legend David Bowie did just the same a few weeks ago).  He was also featured on SNL last weekend, as an official addition to the “Five-Timers Club” honoring his past appearances, which have infiltrated Millennial pop culture humor. The SNL episode gave them the top-rated episode in 14 months; another angle to JT’s business-strategy savvyness. 

20/20 is the most mature of any album we’ve seen from Timberlake. With the launch of his first single from the album, Suit & Tie, Justin Timberlake is bringing the clearly-needed suave man back in an era of “geek chic”, beards (see IFC’s Whisker Wars) hooded sweatshirts…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I follow the news because it’s there and I can't avoid it.”—Female, 28, ME

Nike has taken the gold in Olympic ad engagement with a focus on authenticity. The brand’s 2016 Rio Olympic Games campaign “stepped beyond” “Just Do It” with a series of spots showing average people pushing themselves beyond their limits. The response to the approach has been overwhelmingly positive–viewers of one ad featuring a mountain climber born without arms and legs called it their “new favorite Nike video.” The campaign exceeded “any other brand in engagement rates,” earning 6.7 million shares and 6.5 million likes and favorites since March. (MediaPost

Facebook is taking a new swipe at Snapchat with a new camera-first app for teens only. Lifestage, created by a 19-year-old former Facebook intern, reimagines the original Facebook experience for teens today with profile pages filled with video clips and filters. Currently, the app’s network is limited to high school and undergrad students—users over the age of 21 can only see their own profiles. However, teens can see the profiles of all other users, “inside and outside” their schools, which could make privacy a concern. Facebook’s previous standalone apps have not found much success, leading the site to shut down their Creative Labs division last year. (The Daily Dot,BuzzFeed)

Unable to compete with social media, The New York Times is putting an end to its Millennial news app. NYT Now was launched in 2014 in an effort to lure in young readers with conversational content at a discounted price. After failing to attract new users, the app dropped its paywall for a freemium model that let users read up to 10 free articles a month. The updated strategy still did little to bring in a younger audience, averaging 257,000 unique users in the past three months. (Business Insider

College students are increasingly taking their athletic talents off the field. At many colleges, you don’t need to play traditional sports like football, track, or lacrosse to be a star athlete—instead, students are opting for sports that require “little prerequisite talent and less on-field aggression,” like ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, fishing, and wood-chopping tournaments. Many of these alt-sport players discover the new competitive activities because they don’t fit the strict requirements to join other sports teams, and say inclusive team spirit and lack of competitive strife between opponents are major draws. (The Wall Street Journal

Most beauty brands are trying to draw in younger consumers, and Estée Lauder has strategic plans to keep Millennials happy. The brand’s recent profit boost was mostly generated by “color cosmetics brands like Estée Lauder, SmashboxMAC and Clinique,” but prestige fragrance and skin care continue to suffer. They plan to revive the segment by focusing on “selfie culture,” and count on the social media strategy that has fueled their makeup success to work on “instant-gratification” products like face masks and moisturizers. Partnerships with digital influencers, including those with lower but highly engaged followings, are also in the plans. (Fashionista)

Quote of the Day: “I like yoga because It can be used for the body, mind, breath, and soul if desired. I can do it alone or with other people. It can also be as short or long as I want.”—Female, 27, AR

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