The Gen-Y VotePosted November 3rd
The power and integration of social media marketing on Gen-Y has shown up once again, this time with something a little bit more important: tomorrow's election. Barack Obama has dominated the space, and spread his message efficiently through all the social media channels, as well as through multiple layers of demographics.
However, we won't know how effective both campaigns will be at getting Gen-Y to the polls until the numbers roll in a few days later. Turnout has been been non-existent for young voters for decades (including the disappointing results in the 2004 election.) But with the advances of online social media and Internet usage by Gen-Y (particularly Facebook), I have a feeling we will see a huge uptick — at least a 65% turnout rate for 18- to 24-year-olds this year (turnout for 18- to 24-year-olds was at 41.9 percent in 2004.)
Here is why: online peer pressure/word of mouth. Facebook is becoming increasingly integrated in to Gen-Y's lives, and tomorrow we'll see a huge outpouring of communication/expression about Gen-Y's voting experiences. Users will update their statutes, bragging about voting, bragging about standing in long lines and voting for history (or voting for experience.) Users will send messages, post notes, and post links to each other to keep up with their favorite candidates. For most, this will be completely transparent to other impressionable friends and family members.Furthermore, tomorrow is a big day for everybody in America, but it's also a huge day for online social media — I believe this is the day that social media solidifies its lead as the new marketing direction for the future, especially with Gen-Y. Then, hopefully, marketers will open their eyes.
Presentation on Youth MarketingPosted March 14th
Dave Knox, head of brand management at P&G, uploaded this superb slideshow on Gen-Y and the future of marketing in general.
What he presents is beautiful, clear, and accurate. A lot of these points I've mentioned in the past on Wise & Young; but please, read these over, study them, and know them — they will guide your marketing activities from this day on.
Authenticity: What [Gen-Y] Really WantPosted January 10thI was in Barnes and Nobel last week, looking aimlessly for the new Seth Godin book, which of course they didn't have yet. Luckily, I was bumbling around in the Marketing and Branding section, and stumbled across a great book called Authenticity, which has just came out from the guys that brought us the Experience Economy (James H. Gilmore & B. Joseph, II Pine). If your even remotely involved with Gen-Y evangelists, customers, clients, etc. pick up this book, it's worth it's weight in gold! Authenticity is one of the most important branding/selling points, especially in the eyes of a Gen-Y'er. We've been jammed with artificial products and brands all our lives, that we revolt and head to the commodities, services, products, experiences and brands that provide us with something real.
Hats off to you, Dr. Pepper!Posted November 30thIf you didn't see it already, you have to check out the great viral sequel to Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain," simply called "Cherry Chocolate Rain." Zonday's original amateur song, released four months ago, became a viral sensation and garnered numerous press for the young/campy singer. Somebody brilliant at Dr. Pepper connected the dots and ponied up the money to create a stellar sequel to his original viral sensation in order to get the word out about the new Cherry Dr. Pepper. So far, it looks like we have another viral hit on our hands! Last time I wrote about a youth product placement, I pointed out Skittles' Sour Candy free gift on Facebook. It was a decent placement, but it felt forced, and unauthentic. However, with the Dr. Pepper Zonday clip, we have a viral sensation at our hands (the video can be spread all over the internet and not walled in by Facebook), as well as, it has an amazing emotional and humor connection that is so important to the youth. What do you think? I thought it was a great move!
Your Moment of Zen: Thrashers FundsPosted November 19th
I honestly don't know what to say about Thrasher Funds, a "mutual fund that offers young investors, a group of more than 60 million Gen X and Y'ers largely overlooked by the financial market place until now, the opportunity to leverage their youth along with a disciplined investment and savings strategy to help use what they already know to engage the stock market."
One part of me says, "Awesome, way to go after an untapped market and cater to a group that needs to learn about investing!" However, I honestly said, "What the hell are you doing? I don't want Urban Outfitters (sarcasm) investing my money for me, I want to be part of that bad-ass New York Mutual Fund that made my friend's dad rich."
The branding is 'cool', they casted the right people, they designed it well (a flair of Urban Outfitters mixed with a snooty bank). BUT, does it make me want to invest with them? No. The reason why is I don't trust them and they seem like a gimmick; if I knew they were a branch of a larger mutual fund, I might consider, but they're an up-and-coming firm that "says" they cater to me and my fellow gen-y'rs.
Until they create value, get rave reviews in the communication I participate in (blogs, forums, word of mouth) and achieve the endorsement from other influencers in my group of friends, I'll ignore them as just a gimmick. Branding and design isn't everything with Gen-Y, even though it seems to work, we need our truth — we're a generation that needs reinsurance from our peers — which means you better have a superb product or service before you even bother with the design/branding.
Wrong-Turn FacebookPosted November 14th
Since 2005, I've been a huge evangelist for Facebook, I loved the simplicity, speed, and the privacy. Furthermore, the thing that made me glued to Facebook compared to the other social networks was the ability to keep on top of all my relationships.
I'm one of those types that only adds Facebook friends that are truly my friends in the real world, which helps me keep connected to everybody and relish in their recent experiences. Anytime I see one of my friends, I always have something to bring up; for example, "Scott, how was that trip in Idaho? I saw the photos on Facebook, looked a lot of fun!"
This was all great and dandy, until Facebook released their ad network system. I understand what they're trying to do, make ads that resonated with me and my life and made me feel more connected to brands — they thought they found the holy grail to internet advertising.
It's just one giant mess, which I feel seriously hurts Facebook the website and the brand. They are interrupting my Facebook experience, my human experiences, and my life in general. It's like a noisy bee that you swat away. I finally turned it off, but now you have branded pages showing up and noisy marketers trying to get you to buy something.
Their authenticity has certainly taken a beating and I must say Facebook made a wrong-turn, and better flip a "U" and get back to being that quiet, respected social network who allows their users to make the decisions and not corporations. What do you think Facebook should do? How would you fix the mess? Do you think they messed up?
Skype it while MyspacingPosted October 18th
I love the new Skype feature/partnership on Myspace. The simple feature allows users to visit their friend's profiles and call them up just like they were sending a message or an IM.
This move is great for both, due to the different markets each service controls. For example, Skype is a huge phenomenon overseas, and for one reason or another, has not taken off in America — especially with Gen-Y. By connecting Skype to Myspace users, Skype has a great chance to expand on the gen-y American market.
However, I think Myspace was the brilliant one here, because it gives them a huge handle on a massive overseas market that Myspace still hasn't conquered. I feel they are at the end of their essential first run in America, there isn't much they can do to add any other American users.
Murdoch has known of this problem since he bought Myspace, and from at least 2006 and on he's pushed for Myspace to cater to European, Asian, and other lager foreign markets for good reason - at least 800 million more possible Myspace users! By adding Skype, they have one more enticing reason for overseas users to sign-up or leave other weak networks like Bebo and hi5.
Lets hope the new Myspace Developer Tools work just as well, I want to see a blood-thirsty competition between Myspace and Facebook!
The Future of the Music VideoPosted October 9th
Since 2004, Arcade Fire has demonstrated the power and dynamics of the web. It helps that they have a great product and superb brand (band) execution on all fronts, furthemore, you have to commend them for continually coming out with innovations left and right.
Their latest innovation is the future of the music video; an interactive website featuring their single "Neon Bible." You can view that here: b eoNline B. This is the only song from the album that was turned in to a "music video" and it's an exciting approach and something that should have been established a while ago. As most know, MTV and VH1 have almost completely stopped playing music videos, leaving musical artists paying millions of dollars in hope their video gets a good amount of YouTube hits.
With Arcade Fire's model, fans can interact with the video and create an emotional connection to the music. In essence, the music video has become a viral website! I wouldn't be surprised if many others soon followed and dropped the video format altogether. However, I feel others will make their videos easier to share, post, embed, and otherwise viralize.
Hail to the thief! The music industry is changing!
Take that Rick Rubin, love RadioheadPosted October 1st
As most of you know by now, Radiohead today blew the doors off the recording industry, by announcing their new album will be out in 10 days (label free). The price for their new digital album is whatever the consumer/listener would like to pay.
The decision stunned and astonished critics, who felt it was revolutionary. Gen-Y'ers are as happy as can be, and ready to shell out their hard earned money (even if it's a buck or two). This is the future, no kidding, the artists are in control of their destinies now and no dirty middle men to stop their creativity (or paycheck).
However, a few weeks ago, Rick Rubin in the NY Times Magazine had a different idea on the future of music:
Rubin has a bigger idea. To combat the devastating impact of file sharing, he, like others in the music business (Doug Morris and Jimmy Iovine at Universal, for instance), says that the future of the industry is a subscription model, much like paid cable on a television set.
It's not going to work Rick; Radiohead is going to lead the way! Even though most musical artists don't have the money to imagine highly produced albums; home recording and word-of-mouth are going to save music (think Feist). Gen-Y'ers do not want subscriptions, locks, barriers, bills; they want their free Mp3s! They want the music whenever the artists wants to release it, they want their music on any device, and they want to support their favorite artists' creative talents for the rest of their life.
How is that for trusting your brand and fan base!
Are you still using Consumer-Generated Content?Posted September 25th
Influx had a great post the other day about the fading use of consumer generated content in advertising and other marketing functions. They make a point of where we are going with online social/virtual worlds is exactly the opposite of where marketing and advertising firms are headed.
They then state something brilliant:
The killer application is finding a way to tap into consumer thinking and creativity through the social network, but to do it in a way that doesn’t involve classical advertising.
Agencies need to find a way to make this happen for their clients or someone else will.
If you view some of the top Facebook applications, I think a lot of people are getting close to what Influx is stating is necessary for brands to tap in to consumer-generated creativity and content. This is a very exciting time and it feels like a wide open market for advertisers, marketers, and even small brands to make a huge splash.
Anybody have a favorite Facebook application or widget that demonstrates what Influx is stating above? Something getting away from classical advertising?