Monthly Archives

July 2014

Spanish Ads Engage Bilingual Millennials

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

Today, 38 percent of Hispanics ages 18-29 are bilingual, an increase of 73 percent over the past decade. With this group’s increased size, spending power and influence, it’s no wonder that understanding how to connect with them—and in what language—is top of many marketers’ to-do lists. A neuroscience case study conducted by Nielsen in collaboration with Univision Communications Inc. and Starcom MediaVest Group’s Multicultural division, found that advertising in Spanish might offer the biggest benefit.


Participants in the study watched a selection of ads, some in English and some in Spanish, while their brain activity was measured. Researchers found the Spanish version of each ad “consistently performed the same or better than its English counterpart. Of the ads tested, no English ad performed significantly better than the same ad in Spanish.”


Spanish language advertising also resonated better in the context of television programming. Spanish ads were more emotionally engaging when aired within a Spanish program than English ads within English programming.


“Switching between languages requires increased attention and focus at the expense of emotional engagement and memory. When switching from a single-language program in one language to a single language ad in another, the viewers’ focus shifts away from the content itself and towards processing the language change.”


Because of consumers’ tough transition between languages, the study found that key messaging and branding should not be shown within 10 seconds of a language shift because those moments may escape comprehension, decreasing the effectiveness of the advertisement.

Wine Drinking Habits of the Sexes

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Most of the stereotypes we know about the wine drinking habits of men are no longer true, it turns out. Recent research by as reported by Gregory D. McCluney suggests that while there are still some differences between the sexes when it comes to wine, the gaps aren’t as wide as they used to be.


The study surveyed an equal number of men and women wine drinkers in California and found that both sexes agreed on their top two favorite varietals of wine; Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot rank first and second for both men and women. After that, men ranked Pinot Noir third while women chose White Zinfandel. Both picked Chardonnay in fourth place. The similarities belie the old assumption that women prefer sweet, white wines while men always prefer big reds.


Men and women also agree on when they like to drink wine (with fine food, to celebrate special occasions) and why they like wine (enhances food, they like the taste). Where the sexes most notably diverge is on the question of drinking wine alone. Men are much more apt to drink wine alone – either at home or at a bar or restaurant – than women are. Dr. Liz Thach, MW, who summarized the study, says that “women identify the social benefits of consuming wine more than men. Especially when alone or in a business situation, women choose not to drink or drink much less than in a social setting.”


When it comes to buying wine, women are far less likely to splurge on a bottle. Men in the study were willing to pay, on average, $4 per bottle more than women.


Millennials Focus on Healthy Aging

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While we know there is no actual “fountain of youth,” the keys to longevity and good health are quite real and accessible to us today – and more Millennials are taking the long view compared to a decade ago. A recent study by Nielsen and the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) show that not only are younger people aware of what they need to do to stay healthy, they’re taking responsibility for their long-term health.


The study showed that 75 percent of Americans 18 and older “are taking more personal responsibility for their health today” in order to be independent in their later years. Perhaps not surprisingly, this comes from the notion that they’ll be caring for older relatives – 63 percent of Millennials said they felt it was their responsibility to care for an elderly parent. In order to do that, they’ll need to remain healthy themselves.


In addition to physical health, Millennials are more concerned now with cognitive health and financial stability than they were ten years ago. In particular, 88 percent of Millennials are optimistic about their ability to earn “enough” in the future, even if they don’t currently. And they’re putting their money where their mouths are, too – Millennials “have increasingly become savers rather than spenders,” even contributing regularly to a 401(K) retirement plan.


The study showed all generations were putting more emphasis on personal relationships rather than possessions. But older Americans aren’t as receptive to the idea of calls from providers to check in, remind them about appointments, or offer health advice. Millennials, perhaps because of their easy relationship with social media, are more likely to appreciate that personal touch from their health care providers.

College Students Still Open Their Wallets

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In their 14th annual edition of the College Explorer survey, re:fuel agency and Crux Research found that college students’ discretionary spending has increased from last year as has use of smartphones. Highlights in GlobeNewswire suggest their overall spending power has gone from $404 billion last year to $545 billion this year.


The biggest chunk of students’ discretionary spending goes toward food – including groceries. Thirty-one percent of the total is spent on food, while automotive expenses (including repairs, insurance, and gas) are second on the list, followed by clothing and shoes.


Eighty-six percent of college students have a laptop, and smartphone ownership has increased 9 percent from 2013 up to 78 percent this year. With all those gadgets where students can access social media, they’re still spending the most time on Facebook; 86 percent of students say they check the site at least once a week. Instagram is a distant second at 42 percent. Students also say they’re doing more texting while in class, including 22 percent who say they’re texting someone else in the same class.


College students are more advertising-avoidant with digital media compared to other forms of marketing; 33 percent said they avoid ads on social media sites, 47 percent avoid ads on text messages, and 56 percent avoid pop-up ads and banners. They respond much more favorably to campus marketing tactics such as sponsored events, on-campus signage, and ads in the school newspaper.


“The college years remain a pivotal point in a consumer’s life – it’s a time when a lot of lifelong consumer behavior and purchase patterns are being initiated and ingrained,” said Derek S. White, re:fuel agency’s President & CEO. “If a brand can create equity in those years by using tactics that students respond well to, it can pay dividends for years to come.”

Man at Arms gets Reforged

By | Blog

When we launched the AWEme channel back in February 2012, our goal was to deliver high quality programming that truly lived up to channel moniker: “Amaze, Wow, and Educate”. And with that intent Man at Arms was born.  Focused on the master skills of swordsmith Tony Swatton and his team at The Sword and Stone, they would forge fans’ favorite weapons from movies, video games and TV every week. They tackled everything from Jaime Lannister’s Sword from Game of Thrones to the Blades of Chaos from God of War, and fans were amazed.

The growth of the AWEme YouTube channel has been equally amazing – surpassing more than 2.1 million subscribers in less than two years thanks in large part to the success of “Man at Arms” which averages more than 1.2 million views per episode.  After re-creating 40 of the coolest weapons in pop culture, we’ve expanded the Man At Arms franchise with Man at Arms: Reforged.  Launched on July 14, the new iteration of the show heads to Baltimore Knife and Sword, Maryland’s  premiere shop for stage combat weaponry, where the team puts their own spin on some epic builds that take some of viewers’ favorite items and mash them up into hybrid weapons never seen before like “Batman’s Wolverine Claws,” and combining all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ weapons into one.

The new team of world renowned blacksmiths and craftsmen include Kerry Stagmer, Matthew Stagmer, Ilya Alekseyev, John Mitchell, Sam Salvati and Lauren Schott who have forged original work for film, Broadway and most renaissance festivals around the country. The response to the new show has been extremely positive and we’re excited to bring more original mash-up weapons in new episodes over the coming months.

Be sure to subscribe to AWEMe and tune-in every other Monday for new episodes!

DEFY Media Appoints Media Industry Vet Mark Gall as Chief Revenue Officer

By | Press Releases

(New York, NY) July 28, 2014 —  DEFY Media, a leading creator and distributor of digital content, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Gall to the post of Chief Revenue Officer, effective immediately.   Gall brings more than two decades of strategic advertising sales and marketing experience to DEFY Media where he will lead the sales staff and guide media and custom advertising solutions across the company’s owned and operated brand portfolio which focuses on 13-34 consumers and reaches about 155 million unique viewers watching more than 400 million videos monthly.

Prior to joining DEFY, Mark Gall served as EVP, TV & Digital Ad Sales for BBC Worldwide since 2007, where he built and led the North America, Canada and Latin America sales team responsible for significant revenue growth across both cable and digital platforms during his tenure.  Mark’s career in media sales spans over twenty years where he held senior level positions and leadership roles at several globally recognized media companies, , including The Weather Channel, Tribune Broadcasting, Discovery Communications and CNN.

“Mark joins DEFY Media at an exciting moment as we continue to track significant growth across our digital platforms and expand our video programming and mobile offerings,” commented Matthew Diamond, CEO of DEFY Media. “His deep experience working with clients across both traditional and digital media has provided him with a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the current media environment and his standout track record exemplifies both the energy and strategic foresight that will drive our business even further.”

DEFY Media will launch several new programs this Fall, including the second season of Prank It FWD, an inspiring movement that spread joy through positive pranks and garnered over 30MM video views and 20MM social impressions; Made Man’s Gentleman UP: A Mission To Be Better Men that will feature editorial and video content aimed to inspire, inform and educate men; and the anticipated 9th annual SMOSH: Food Battle, in which top ranked YouTube personalities Ian and Anthony compete in the ultimate edible competition.

“I’ve watched DEFY Media’s impressive strides over the last year on both the programming front and in building a unique content network that is clearly unmatched in the marketplace,” commented Mark Gall. ”I ‘m thrilled to be joining forces with a team with such strong creative and strategic vision and look forward to building on this momentum to expand unique partnerships around DEFY’s diverse content offerings”.


About DEFY Media

DEFY Media is the definitive media company for the digital generation, formed by the 2013 merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media.  The merger united two companies with strong legacies and expertise in creating influential and culturally significant entertainment properties for 12-34 year old consumers. DEFY Media creates some of the most popular content in digital under its leading portfolio of brands, including Break, Clevver, GameTrailers,Made Man, SMOSH, Screen Junkies, The Gloss, and The Escapist, together reaching over 155 million consumers monthly through owned web, YouTube, mobile, social, and emerging OTT platforms. The world’s top brands partner with DEFY to build immersive advertising solutions that deliver unparalleled access to this influential audience. With uniquely integrated capabilities in content development, studio production, distribution and promotion, DEFY Media is built for content delivery in the digital age. Please visit us at

Gen-Y More Brand Loyal Than Boomers

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Numbering more than 80 million, Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history. As they retire, Boomers will take with them nearly $400 million per year in spending—leaving Millennials holding the U.S. purse strings.


“Retailers are scrambling to secure the loyalty of the Millennial tech-savvy and fast-paced crowd, which spends $600 billion a year,” MediaPost writes.


The good news for marketers: Once brands win their hearts, 64 percent of Millennials say they’re as brand loyal, if not more so, than their parents, according to a study by Adroit Digital. One quarter said they are definitely more brand loyal than their folks. If their loyalties hold true, then winning Millennial loyalty over the next 10 years will reap tremendous benefits for brands over the lifetime of this age group, according to the report.


They way to Millennials’ hearts? Through their phones and their friends.


Nearly 4 in 10 respondents agree that a brand is outdated or undesirable if it doesn’t advertise through mobile channels, smartphones or tablets. And 60 percent say social advertising has the most influence over their brand perceptions. Meanwhile, 55 percent report that a recommendation from a friend is one of the strongest influencers in whether they buy a product.


While traditional advertising is falling flat with those aged 18 to 25, TV still holds sway, with 29 percent of Millennials indicating it’s the media most likely to introduce them to a new product.

Jobless Guys Ditch Deodorant

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A guy wakes up, takes a shower, puts on deodorant and gets ready for work.


But what if he doesn’t have a job?


As the Guardian writes, 7 percent of young men aged 17 to 24 have stopped using underarm deodorant at least once a week, according to a survey by the Grocer magazine. In that same age group, 5 percent have stopped washing their hair or styling their hair at least once a week.


“The core driver for using deodorant as part of a routine is getting ready for work. Unemployment removes this,” Kantar analyst Samuel Hart told the Guardian.


The stench is starting to hit sales of male grooming products, which have fallen more than 2 percent in the past year.


“Growing indifference to personal hygiene has hit the male grooming market hard in the past year,” the Guardian writes.


There may be one bright spot in the deodorant market. Sales of “high efficiency” deodorant creams have risen by 30 to 40 percent over the past few months. The creams promise odor-fighting performance over two or even three days, perfect for campers, attendees to music festivals and male and female non-groomers alike.

Millennials Get Hitched on a Budget

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Wedding consultants can rejoice—the bulk of Millennials now are entering “the wedding years,” though they’re redefining the norm of a budget-busting gala.


Four out of 10 Millennials will attend a wedding this year, and 22 percent are already married. Another 22 percent plan to be engaged in the near future, according to this infographic from YPulse. Only 6 percent of Millennials surveyed said they don’t ever plan to get married.


While many Millennials are ready to get hitched, they’ll be doing it on their own terms—and likely on a budget. More than 7 out of 10 surveyed say they’d rather have a small, inexpensive wedding than an over-the-top affair.


“The majority of Millennials prefers small weddings nowadays, but even more so when that means the event will be less expensive,” YPulse writes.


Millennials are upholding some wedding traditions and allowing others to go extinct. While 86 percent marriage-ready Millennials say they plan to have a both a ceremony and a reception (86 percent), only 69 percent actually have both, and a surprising 19 percent end up having neither.


Other trends: Bachelor parties and printed invitations seem to be enduring the digital age, but going out of style are matching bridesmaids dresses and having one set of parents pay for the whole affair.