Monthly Archives

August 2014

Mythbusters — Millennial Edition

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

It turns out many of the myths associated with Millennials’ purchasing decisions and brand loyalties are not true.


A new survey by digital advertising agency Moosylvania shows Millennials wield $1.3 trillion in consumer purchasing power but they’re not necessarily independent shoppers. For the most part, Millennials make shopping decisions with the input of friends and family – they remain connected throughout the shopping experience via text, phone, or social media—asking friends for advice or opinions.


The survey also indicates Millennials place a high value on transparency and trust. They expect you to be upfront when it comes to answering questions, practicing what you preach and building trusted relationships with your followers. And brands must make an effort and invest time to earn Millennials’ loyalty; they want experiences that require more effort from the creator, rather than ads that hit them and then quit.


Millennials say they don’t like to be marketed to, but will advocate for brands that have earned their loyalty. Fifty-seven percent say they tell friends about products they love; 59 percent like the brand page on Facebook; and 40 percent subscribe to a brand’s email newsletters. Respondents say they’re almost twice as likely to seek information on a brand from its Facebook page rather than company website.

Changing Face of Masculinity in Sports

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From Donald Sterling to Johnny Manziel to Michael Sam, sports figures today seem to be demonstrating a shift in how we define “modern masculinity.”


MediaPost author David Measer argues that Sterling represents “Neanderthal man,” universally condemned for his racism, although many recognized “that there was indeed once a time when many men harbored such values.”


Manziel is Measer’s “Bro man,” partying at the bar after his first round NFL draft pick. Sam is the “Revolutionary man” – the first openly gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team, who kissed his boyfriend upon hearing the news.


Measer doesn’t include Kevin Durant in his masculinity categorizations, but uses Durant’s NBA MVP acceptance speech – complete with his flowing tears and sharing the accolades with his teammates and mother – as further evidence that modern masculinity is changing.


According to the Good Men Project, the current definition of what it means to be a man is multi-dimensional. Guys today are neither the mindless, sex-obsessed buffoons nor the stoic automatons our culture so often makes them out to be.


“Without a doubt, considering sports to be a mirror of society may be an absurd undertaking. But it may also be a canary in the coal mine. As Durant cries and Manziel parties and Sam kisses, masculine values may be on the move, too. And with them, conceptions of fatherhood, family, education, business, sex, health, ethics, and much more.”

Teens and Tweens Play Favorites

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When asked what they like to do on the weekends, the top response for kids aged 8-15 years old is “hanging out with friends” (16%).  But the numbers change quite a bit when you factor in age and gender.


According to a report by KidSay, “hanging out with friends” ranks differently for girls versus boys. Twenty-two percent of girls say it’s their favorite weekend activity, while just 10 percent of boys say the same.  Another activity where gender differences show clearly is playing video games. Twenty-four percent of boys said it’s a favorite weekend pastime, whereas only 4 percent of the girls make that claim.


Gender isn’t the only differentiating factor, however – another is age. Tween boys (ages 8-11) rated “hang out with friends” as their fourth favorite (7 percent) weekend activity; well behind their highest priority – video games. Tween girls rank “hanging out with friends” as their top weekend activity (11 percent), but once they are teens (ages 12-15) the number triples to 33% saying ‘hanging out with friends’ is their top weekend activity.


Millennials Going Social for News

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With the rise of social media, CNN Vice President Steven W. Korn has seen a dramatic shift in the way people consume news and other information – and he’s not entirely happy with the changes.


A recent study by Scarborough Research found that Millennials (ages 18-34) are 110 percent more likely to get their news online than the overall adult population; 68 percent get their news from social media such as Twitter. Korn believes there’s a “significant downside to consuming information in this way,” because blogs and social media may not take the time to make sure their information is vetted and accurate before releasing it to the public, as reputable news outlets do.


“Often there is no professional editing, no filter through the eyes of trained journalists and it is just a deluge of information,” Korn says of many social media news sources. “This information is often inaccurate, misleading and sometimes defamatory. There is no governor on this system, no professional curation.”


While the majority of young people acknowledge the credibility of social media sites is questionable, 43 percent say they believe social media to be an accurate source for news. Additionally, 33 percent of survey respondents said they would rather be first to know a story, even if it is “occasionally inaccurate.”


Korn thinks changes to the news business are likely to continue, and would like younger generations to be educated about discerning quality reporting regardless of the news source.

SMOSH attends the MTV VMAs!

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Ian and Anthony from SMOSH attended the 31st annual MTV VMAs in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug 24. The walked the red carpet and attended the show which included performances by Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaji and more!

SMOSH is #1 Among Teens

By | Blog

As part of Variety’s look into the “New Breed of Online Stars,” the Hollywood trade has released a survey revealing that SMOSH is the #1 favorite celebrity among teens, scoring higher in influence and engagement than Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio combined.  The five most influential figures among Americans ages 13-18 are all YouTube faves, surpassing mainstream celebrities.

Check out the infographic above that accompanies the cover story  with fellow YouTube stars Jenna Marbles and Shane Dawson, which takes a deeper look at the rise of digital stars.

Huge congrats to SMOSH and all involved!