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Childhoods on film

Gen Z is developing maturing perspectives on lives in which the highlights of birthdays, holidays and random events aplenty have been relentlessly captured, captioned and shared on social media. Images of the innocent things kids do which seem innocent enough at the time, to the doer can become sources of embarrassment best destroyed once adolescence kicks in. Yesteryear’s photo album, pulled out and shared sparingly with visiting friends and extended families has been replaced by fully labeled and ‘liked’ mini-encyclopedias of youth, day in and day out, available for the world to see 24/7, compiled by those who didn’t grow up that way but often featuring subjects that have little say in their having ‘gone public’.

 

Epic fails, memorialized

 

From literal run-ins with walls or dogs as toddlers to off-key versions of evergreen songs bravely performed in school concerts to sport days that may not have gone well or, worse, ended in goofy victory dances, the normal growing pains of the earliest years are there for the gawking. Generational Kinetics, a Gen Z-focused company, has through polls deduced that the world’s latest generation shows a heightened awareness of privacy rights, because fighting for them – often with their parents and friends – is the new normal.

 

Image control

 

Millions of people barely on the threshold of adulthood are being forced to enter negotiations to control elements of their public persona. Actors once came to such agreements with their agents, and companies still do with their PR representatives. But today it is the norm for everyone to be, at least potentially, known far and wide. Lives are lived in the public domain, or something close to it, monitored by CCTV. Young people today have grown up instant experts in cultivating their image – and coping with posts that spun out of their control long ago, and if even if taken down, leave behind archival memories and the stuff of myths.

 

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Millennials maximizing their online shopping potential

Reacting with gusto to the dramatically evolving patterns for spending money via the Internet, Millennials are spending like no other generation before them. New research indicates that those born in the ’80s and ’90s are outspending any other age group – both in stores and online.

 

Letting go of money

 

The study show that Millennials are the most likely of generations to drop $50 in the US or 50£ in the UK when they have a chance to so, no matter if shopping at home online or in person in the actual store. Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are not spending quite as much as the latest generation to have fully evolved into adulthood. Most likely, once Gen Z fully comes of age, this fully digital native batch will lead the pack in spending as well, as indicated by statistics on those born in the new century who have already joined the workforce and are spending like it.

 

Brand loyalty

 

By a small margin, young people of the Millennial generation are also most likely among the age groups surveyed to support particular companies when they felt their products, services and mission were aligned with their own. Millennials are also more likely to add more items into online carts when they are satisfied by the services provided by a company they like.

 

Subscription box boost

 

In the US, more subscription box business models for starting online income generation based around a particular niche were more popular than in the UK. The trend carried through for all generations. This popular multi-step model outlines how to go from idea to income, based on one’s Internet connectivity and networking skills for finding customers and giving them what they want.

 

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The rise of brand storytelling

Stories are more easily remembered than statistics and facts alone. Stories stimulate our neural activity. Stories also impact the brain’s sensory cortex. Such are just a few facts related to how stories do a better job than facts alone (but, of course, still very much need them). The union of facts and heart-stirring narratives is called brand storytelling, a phenomenon rapidly gaining currency among digital marketers, aka digital storytellers and content marketers.

 

The future of marketing

 

Brand storytelling capitalizes on and represents the nearly inevitable outcome of several trends, including buyers trusting information coming from fellow customers than from companies, the tendency to edit out advertisements from daily news feeds and streaming sites, the quest for authenticity in brands, decreasing brand loyalty, and the nature of the trend-setting, digital-native Gen Z.

 

Sponsoring values, not products

 

Advertisers are rebranding themselves as value-focused, which has always been be a tough sell. Creating interest in goods and services without blatantly looking like you’re selling them may not be a new challenge, but is an increasingly relevant one to meet in a world awash with information and multiple channels for exposure. Influencers are found attractive by their followers for their character and integrity, not their over loyalty to particular brands, let alone for being mouthpieces for sales and specials of the day.

 

There’s no publicity like free publicity

 

If the best stories write themselves, the most unscripted of plot twists can have the happiest of endings in terms of PR value. Which is to say, the best things in life are free. When a very obviously 21st-century coffee cup looking like it was from Starbucks worked itself into a bar scene from the premium streaming series “Game of Thrones” the gargantuan error generated for Starbucks what one industry expert valued to be no less than US$2.3 billion in free advertising. Some stories are too good to be true, and the great ones are too serendipitous to have been made up.

 

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And the innovators are…

Boston Consulting Group recently released its report “The Most Innovative Companies 2019: The Rise of AI, Platforms, and Ecosystems”. The companies at the top shifted slightly, and, ironically, are also those sometimes known for losing their knack for creative intentions.

 

Innovation means IT

 

The #1 position has been taken by Google, having replaced Apple at the top. The former #1 and new #3 has been in the news lately not so much for innovation and carrying on in the outside-the-box spirit of its late founder, Steve Jobs, but for a future focusing on streaming original series for fans of the brand. Apple has also been on the defensive in terms of sales of smartphones and other gadgets, with competition stiffening with the up-and-coming Huawei. The top 10 positions on the list of innovative companies were dominated by tech firms, which gives a good indication of how IT provides need to be on the ball and changing all the time, lest market shares and the advantages of leadership slip away. Just ask Nokia.

 

A Google will rise

 

Even the new #1, the world’s most famous search engine, will not impress everyone with taking over the top slot, as this can be seen as the inevitable position of a behemoth controller and provider of information that insists on getting its way. The king of SEO will be seen as innovative by size and influence alone, no matter what effects this may have on daily life, for good or otherwise. Amazon, an online good provider making bold plans for a whole new bricks-and-mortar shopping experience, placed second. Notable at #4 is bundling giant Microsoft, also no stranger of bullying competitors and customers with offers they can’t refuse.

 

Another fly higher

 

Meanwhile in other barometers of success, another firm worth mentioning is Singapore Airlines, which has long been the world’s most awarded airline. The carrier credits its successful campaigns and popularity with travelers by taking the approach that localization is hardly synonymous with translation, and that nuanced, contextual understanding of and respect for local audiences is essential in forging the right connections. The company’s latest tagline, ‘Making Every Journey Personal’ says it all about what happens when you live up to your own PR.

 

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Digital marketers, are you listening?

Podcasts have become widely popular in a short amount of time in the US. About 75% of trendsetting Generation Z – people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s – pay for a streaming or music service, compared to six out 10 among the not all that older Millennials (a third of whom say they listen to at least one podcast daily). Commuters and workers are coming more and more to value multitasking and making efficient use of time. This is indeed the Information Age, as a new study among on the popularity of podcasts in the US indicates.

 

Giving reason to radically rethink ideas related to digital distraction and shorter attention spans, Millennials are focused more than other age group on education podcasts, and along with Gen Zers are 5 percent more likely to play podcasts for motivation related to professional development than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. The two younger generations were also more likely to listen to podcasts of 26 minutes, compared to older generations. Significant majorities in all generations believed that podcasts helped them in terms of intellectual growth. Older generations still saw them more as gadgets associated with downtime rather than the platforms for learning they have also become thought of among younger Americans.

 

Spreading the word

 

Most podcast fans want to share, but desire easier technology allowing for sharing snippets of sound rather than links requiring some fine tuning to get to the best sections. Spotify, Apple Podcasts and web browsers were cited as the most popular platforms for podcasts. Nearly a full tenth of the entire adult US population listen to at least one podcast a month, a trend that has shown significant increase. Good listeners are indeed out there, for anyone sharing the right messages…

 

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Sports influencers making lots of smooth moves

After a slow start compared to other marketing fields, sports marketing has taken off, and shows no signs of slowing down. Industry experts cite a variety of factors for the trend, but particularly the relatively sudden appearance of Gen Z’s financial prowess. This digital native, most socially conscious demographic is expected by next year to be spending anywhere from US$30 billion to over US$100 billion annually. Just as e-commerce platforms and big data are coming of age, not surprisingly, so are the youngsters best positioned to take advantage of new ways of spending income, including sports-related purchases.

 

An e-marketing bonanza awaiting

 

The new earners and spenders of Generation Z are seen as being more pragmatic, supportive of social initiatives, and robustly responsive to campaigns of all kinds that directly appeal to them and appear genuine in intent. At the same time, around two-thirds of marketers of sports events, teams and equipment and see more influencer programs as being vital for their field in the mid- and long-term future. The up-and-coming generation in particular can long expect to be targeted with sports-related campaigns.

 

Great ROI for sports marketing

 

The ROI of recent sports marketing programs indicates that they are very effective in generating profits. Sports marketers in recent studies said this is facilitated by having open relationships with influencers and working collaboratively to ensure that the authentic reach of their influence was optimized in line with client companies’ needs and matching them in turn as closely as possible to the expectations of buyers.

 

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Gen Z’s sustainable, supercharged shopping spree

The young people of the world know what they want and know where they can get it. This trend will only increase, as the newest generation grows up. Online marketers not tuned into the call of Generation Z’s growing legions of focused, often female online shoppers, entertainment seekers and social media users risk losing out to, well, the future, actually…

 

Currying favor, spinning stories

 

The boldness and brevity of Gen Z was sportily displayed by one spritely girl who upon discovering that Stephen Curry’s latest line of trainers were available only for boys, personally appealed to the NBA superstar in a Tweet sweetly succinct, imploring him to take action. The forthrightness and connection the young storyteller forged proved irresistible and the Golden State Warriors player Tweeted back saying he had arranged for his young fan to attend an upcoming home game. She did, and was presented a pair of custom-made Curry 5s, along with a promise that she’d be among the first to try out the new Curry 6s when they debut.

 

Beyond brand awareness

 

In addition to not being shy about putting CEO-types in their place, girls are giving big brands a challenging time by being more willing to buy off-brand and generic products, patronizing companies like Kirkland and Amazon Essentials. Brands are in better shape on another score though, as long as they’ve got logistics covered: almost half of Gen Z girls said that their top motivational factor for buying clothes online was fast and free delivery.

 

Get ready, providers of products and services and the PR firms supporting them: Gen Z is entering the workforce and will be shopping online more and more in years to come.

 

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Gen Z streaming and spending up a storm

Next-gen digital natives dubbed “Generation Z” are getting more out of the online experience than anyone ever has, finding movies and series to stream, a growing array of products and services to buy on cashback-friendly sites, and wanting orders delivered ASAP. Beyond the communications revolution triggered by email and then chat-friendly social media, today’s online landscape is more like the conveniences-loaded world of tomorrow that’s been talked of for so long.

 

Focused and female

 

A few new major international studies out this year show how Generation Z is coming of age, even savvier in navigating the online world than Millennials, and driven by females. Nearly two out of three female Gen Z members in the US bought clothes from Amazon in recent months, and rank speed and convenience higher than brand and even price. Digital marketers out to cultivate relationships with them will have to showcase their best incentives to cultivate lasting relationships with these young women online, who are also more willing to experiment with less-known brands, and have less association with brand loyalty.

 

Getting informed by social media

 

Current events are learned of on social media by at least a quarter of the online population, studies show. Beyond the friendship groups that online communities bring together, the news aspect of social media is growing and becoming more standard, for learning of what’s on, performing the role of listings magazines with greater frequency and efficiency.

 

It’s “Generation Z”

 

Google Trends stats show that “Generation Z” is the name most associated for now with anyone born during the last 20 years or so. Marketers, take note.

 

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Busted for insufficient social credit

China is forging ahead with several innovative trends in e-commerce and social media that are having significant effects on the lives of its netizens. The country is tracking of its citizens’ behavior via the Internet (and CCTV cameras). There are now increasingly significant additional costs for violators of small-time crimes and those involved in other activities deemed to be “unsociable”.

 

Some 23 million Chinese have been blacklisted from buying airplane or train tickets for engaging in what the government deems to be anti-social behavior, which can include anything from smoking on trains to letting pet dogs run free in areas where they should be leashed, to using outdated tickets on public transport or not paying taxes. Spreading fake news can also get you “discredited”, which in a society that relies heavily on censorship and propaganda can lead to a lot of grey areas.

 

Simply unsocial behavior

 

One particularly cringe-worthy example of dubious digital behavior was entertainer Cai Xukun’s over-the-top efforts to make his new song go, go, go viral. Although already a member of popular boy band Nine Percent, Cai vastly inflated the number of times his new song “Wait, Wait, Wait” had been shared on social media site Weibo. While the song may not have the cool factor of a banned book generating its own special-edition PR, if the stunt leads to more people listening to the song, well, there you go. But it’s not the kind of technique likely to be useful more than once.

 

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Going to Extremes with a Winning Agency

Vivaldi CEO competes in the largest race in Southeast Asia, to finally claim first prize

DESPITE its awful past, the infamous River Kwai’s ‘death’ railway built by WWII prisoners is an ideal location for the River Kwai Trophy Adventure Race, the largest race in Southeast Asia.

Vivaldi CEO was not always into endurance sports, but after becoming overweight and unhealthy he decided to get fit and enter the race for the first time. That was 11 years ago. It was the toughest thing he’d ever done, but was hooked from then on.

In 2015, his friend Ross Cain and he decided to team up under the name “Atlast” with the purpose of winning the Grand Masters of the River Kwai Race. He was super-fit, coming off cycling the 1200 km Audax France in under 70 hours. They trained hard in the midday sun for five hours at a time, so by race day were in top shape. Despite a serious cycling crash in which Ross cracked his elbow and Joseph had a concussion, they came in 3rd place.

In 2016, they tried again, leading the race for five hours until Joseph’s legs cramped in the final river swim just a few hundred meters from the finish line. It hurt to lose like that.

At the registration for 2017, they saw teams entering from Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France. That night, a huge tropical storm rolled in. In an adventure race, you don’t know distances, routes or order of the swim, bike, kayak, obstacles or trails. You just deal with it as it comes. In this year’s race, they started with a run that crossed the Bridge over the River Kwai to the main plaza where tourists looked on.

When the MC finally announced at the finish, “Team Atlast has finished in 1st place in the Grand Masters Division”, hands rose in the air and both team members shouted at the top of their lungs! It has been 11 years in the making and finally a first ever win. The team had conquered Asia’s Largest Race at the Bridge over the River Kwai!

 

Full story available at : www.thebigchilli.com

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