15th May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 0
Millennials are Mad for Mad Men


By: Elena Christiansen, Webmaster

Mad Men is in the middle of its epic goodbye, with episode 5 airing this week of its seventh and final season. After a dark sixth season, season seven of Mad Men has kept viewers on the edge of their seats with many of its main characters experiencing life meltdowns. The real question in the back of each viewer’s mind is how is Mad Men going to end? Mad Men’s success in the youth and young adult (YAYA, 18-24 year-old) market can be attributed to the simple fact that it excels at combining a multitude of things that we love: nostalgia, complex story lines and meaningful advertising.


Perhaps it is that our society is running out of ideas, but historical, non-fiction plot lines have become a hit recently. Just take a look at this year Oscars nominations for Best Picture, six out of the nine nominations, were based (or loosely based i.e. American Hustle) on real events.

Similarly, Mad Men is supposedly very loosely based on the life David Ogilvy, who is considered one of the fathers of advertising. For those of you who are not avid Mad Men watchers, the show is set in the 1960’s. Mad Men not only capitalizes on this phenomena of intrigue with the past, it hits it out of the park.  Mad Men is a master of wooing you the range of emotions and impacts that historic events, like MLK’s assassination and Nixon’s inauguration, have on characters’ lives. This is a huge hook for the YAYA market, we have spent our whole lives being taught about these historic events in our history classes, but it’s a whole other experience to watch some of our favorite characters live through it.

Complex Story lines

With its wide variety of characters, Mad Men lends itself well to a complex storyline. In our fast paced society the YAYA market is not as easily entertained or satisfied with simple story lines. Mad Men’s main character Don Draper, is the epitome of a complex character. Draper took a hiatus from Sterling Cooper & Partner’s (the name of the ad agency in the show) and came back to a obvious cold shoulder from the agency; it is currently questionable whether Draper is going to get his life together and job back. Draper is the definition of mystery and full of secrets; that is not to say that other characters do not have their fair share of secrets. During the ‘60s without the ever-present social media and cell phones notifying everyone of where you are and what you are doing, it was much easier for p=eople to go off the grid and not be held accountable for their actions. This is something that the YAYA market can also relate to, with the weight of social media, we occasionally want the option to escape to anonymity.

Surprisingly, Mad Men is not a fast paced show; at least not in comparison to other shows the YAYA market is addicted to,  Scandal anyone? It is a general assumption that
YAYA television watchers want a show that reflects their fast paced lives, but Mad Men exemplifies quite the opposite. A typical episode of Mad Men lasts around 45 minutes with usually one large climatic even and many smaller snippets that lend themselves to future episodes.This is perhaps how Mad Men gets viewers, like me, hooked; they never give us the full story and leave us with questions and  wanting more.

Meaningful Advertising

Mad Men shines in creating meaningful advertising in two ways. First, throughout the course of the past six seasons, we have been able to watch Draper and his team make some tough ethical decisions when it comes to their clientele. In the ‘60s when cigarettes and the tobacco market were huge, an ad agency knew they had made it if they had a tobacco company as a client. In one episode Draper writes an open letter that gets run in highly popular newspapers condemning big tobacco companies, this was practically ad agency suicide. This is the advertising that the YAYA market appreciates and expects to see. We expect advertising agencies and marketers to have the public interest in mind and be transparent.

Second, Mad Men itself practices meaningful advertising that resonates with us in the YAYA market. Mad Men has been building up the comeback of its final and last season the past month in a variety of channels.

  • Time featured a Q&A famous John Hamm, who plays Draper;
  • Time also featured Q&A’s the lead researcher and writer for the show.
  • Listicals and articles have been dominating my Buzzfeed homepage.
  • Mad Men even made a Pandora station, so that fans can constantly listen to the show wherever they go.
  • The fashion world can similarly not resist the show, with Harper’s Bazaar highlighting a feature of the fabulous ‘60s mod.
  • One of the best pieces of promotion I ran across was a piece from Fast Company, where Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men reflected in the current state of advertising.

Mad Men varied it’s advertising from traditional billboards in New York, to experiential Pandora stations, attempting to reach fans in a variety of touch points.  It also doesn’t hurt that the entire past six seasons are available 24/7 for fans on Netflix. The YAYA market appreciates this type of accessibility, where they have the option and opportunity to interact with a product (or show in this case) in a variety of ways. In addition, Mad Men has taken the momentum of their comeback and continued promotions one of their most prominent is their Twitter handle and their utilization of Buzzfeed.

With all the content I’ve been reading on the show, I know I am not the only one that has mixed feelings with Mad Men in the peak of its last season; it is a bittersweet feeling, one of our favorite shows is back, but it is coming to an end. This season so far has not disappointed though. I personally feel like it has been a lighter season than season six, and *spoiler alert* I think Don is actually going to turn his life, marriage and job around this time (hopefully). And how about that nip slip in this past episode? Is Mad Men turning more promiscuous this season? One of my high points reminiscing back on the season has been watching the characters grow, most prominently, Sally. You can truly see how she has developed in the show. She is no longer the little girl from season one, but a mature teen who is starting to see the world and her parents for who they truly are.  In the words of Don Draper the one point I would give marketers, “Make it simple, but significant.” We, the YAYA market, can be incredibly skeptical but when you get us hooked we are in for the long haul.

What are your feelings towards the final season of Mad Men? What additional lessons do you think marketers can take away from the show and its long, successful tenure on television?







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10th May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 6
Girls Just Wanna Have Fan Gear

By: Madeleine Adams, Audience Development – Facebook 

For NHL fans, it’s the most wonderful time of the year… the battle for the Stanley Cup is on. Whether or not your team is in the playoffs this year, there’s no denying the thrill of watching the league’s best teams duke it out for a spot in the finals.

While the NHL may have a significantly smaller fan base than other major professional sports, its fans can be described in one word: diehard. As a fan of the Boston Bruins, you better believe I’m at the bar cheering on my team every single game (obviously I’d prefer to see the games in person, but the drive from Missouri to Massachusetts is a bit of a commute). In the land of Blues and Blackhawks fans, I’m usually the lone Boston fan in the joint. For me, this makes representing my team all that much more important. And how do fans show support for their teams? By wearing our teams’ jerseys and t-shirts. This is where being a female sports fan gets frustrating.

A few weeks back, I decided it was time for some more Bruins gear. The shirts I had were old and ripping, so I went to the NHL online store with the intention of dropping some serious cash in order to show off my Bruins love. Like most college students, my spending budget is pretty limited, but when it comes to cheering on my team, it’s no time to be cheap.

As I scrolled through the female section of the NHL store, I felt initial disappointment that quickly grew into outrage. To say my options were limited would be an understatement. That Patrice Bergeron jersey I wanted? Nowhere to be found. I guess that makes sense, considering he’s only one of the best players in the league and a finalist for this year’s Selke trophy–oh wait, that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. So I moved on to the t-shirt section which had about eight versions of the exact same t-shirt differing only in the player’s name on the back. There was a very small selection of other options that were nearly identical and extremely unoriginal. The lack of exciting Bruins shirts was frustrating and disappointing, but that wasn’t what really got my blood boiling. I could have possibly excused offering female fans only a small fraction of the variety of cool gear offered to male fans, but then I saw these:

(Following images taken from the NHL Bruins Shop)

OMG! Who cares that I can’t wear my favorite player’s jersey when I can have POM-POMS at the end of my fingers?! Spirit fingers anyone? Bring It On is like, the best movie ever.


Don’t worry, if my hands get hot I can keep my gloves in this adorable hot pink sequin purse! The Bruins colors are black and yellow? Whatever, pink is soo much cuter.

Check out my new boots! I just can’t get enough pink. I’m glad they made the logo almost impossible to see… yellow would totally clash with the color scheme.


So I decided to have this viewing party for the game to impress that hot guy in our class who likes the Bruins. Don’t worry, we can switch to Real Housewives during commercials or if we start like, losing. Do you think heels are too much?

Should I go for the more laidback look? I’m in love with the fuzzy leopard.

OMG these umbrellas are so fun. And who doesn’t drink fruity martinis while watching sports? Beers have wayyyyy too many calories.


Hello perfect excuse to show off my butt! Win or lose, this girl is scoring tonight ;)


How I actually felt:

Seriously, is this what NHL retail marketers think goes on in our heads? Is it so hard to understand that we want real sports gear, not martini umbrellas and lingerie? No, you’re right, what girl wouldn’t want to go to a sports bar in furry boots, knee-highs, a thong with spirit-finger gloves and a sparkly sequin bag? Honestly, I’m offended. When I go to a bar to watch the game, I’m not trying to dress like a cheerleader and sip on a Cosmopolitan. Like any other sports fan, you can find me drinking a beer and screaming at the TV. Is it asking too much to want to wear my favorite player’s jersey while watching?

A few days ago, the NHL shop finally added a Bergeron jersey to the female section.

Smart choice, considering they just earned $130 from me. However, the fact remains that the store offers eight jerseys for women and thirty for men. Perusing through the men’s t-shirt section, I found a lot of awesome shirts that I would immediately purchase if they had them in women’s sizes, like a Krejci shirt with Olympic colors or “Because It’s The Cup” shirts. Women are limited to the most basic and unoriginal shirts while men get to choose from a huge selection of different designs.

The sports world has long been dominated by men, but the number of female sports fans is growing by the day. According to research, women now represent about 50% of the fanbase for the NFL, MLB and NBA. The NHL female fanbase is fewer in number, but definitely on the rise. Some efforts have been made to cater to female hockey fans, like Alyssa Milano’s clothing line, Touch. However, there is still a huge gap in the female sports gear market and marketers would be foolish to let this opportunity slip away. So note to marketers: stop making clothing and accessories that look like they belong in a Barbie collection and start designing clothing that actually shows how passionate we are about our teams. Believe me, the profits will be worth it.

Have other female fans found this to be a trend with the sports retail market? Comment below and share your thoughts on the gender discrepancy in the NHL apparel industry.






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8th May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 9
Wine and Millennials: A Sweet Spot for Advertisers

By: Lyndsey Garza, MOJO Ad Liaison

We may be too young to be a sommelier, too rebellious to swirl our glass and not know the difference between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio… But Millennials are sipping more and sipping often when it comes to wine. In fact, this demographic makes up the largest consumer group in wine history – 65% of Millennials drink wine every day or several days a week.

Millennials are transforming the wine industry. Wine has historically been perceived as a rich upper class delicacy, for those with a pretentious taste and the discretionary income to match.”While 41.4% of wine by volume in the US was consumed by those 55 years or older in 2012, Millennials drank 25.7% of the wine.

The YAYA market is experimental, a bit defiant and we crave authentic experiences in every venture and product. While this might seem to be a lot of punch to pack in a wine bottle, the following will take the guesswork out of the grapes.

Take the stuffy intimidation out of wine.

The YAYA consumer cares about quality and the backstory behind a brand, but we want to be spoken to – not at. Leverage this attitude by positioning your wine as relaxing, fun and approachable and speak the Millennial language.

TXT Cellars describes themselves as “fruit-forward, approachable wines” that “make wine snobs say WTF”.  This brand is not only acutely aware of how digitally savvy the YAYA drinker is, but also understands the importance of creating an unintimidating, easy entrance into the complex and history-rich world of wine. They feature flavors like “WTF!!! Pinot Noir” and “LOL!!! Riesling”.

There’s no reason to be pretentious or stuffy, as it’s likely this target could be enjoying your product outdoors at a tailgate – in a plastic to go wine tumbler. Millennials value experience over everything, so it is important to market your wine as the perfect complement to any social event.

Be. Wine takes the guesswork out of finding the perfect bottle for the occasion or cuisine and includes interactive personality quizzes, pairing guides and even cocktail recipes on their website. Feeling feisty? Choose “Be. Sultry”, a hearty merlot.

Don’t alienate young aspiring wine enthusiasts and acknowledge the sweet spot when it comes to price. Take a note from Carlo Rossi, which sells 4-liter glass jugs of wine for roughly $1.30 per 3 ounces of alcohol.  Anything over $20 for a bottle is seen as steep and could easily intimidate the YAYA shopper from trying your wine.

Create loyal winos with a comprehensive digital presence.

The YAYA wino craves adventure, and we want to explore and discover new wines in an easy way. We don’t have the disposable income to travel to Italy at a whim’s notice, so bring the vineyards to us by implementing a fun, yet functional social media presence.

Arbor Mist capitalizes on this by using Facebook to connect with their young consumers by posting recipes, sharing fan content as well as participating in trends like #WineWednesday. The Facebook page has over a million likes and the most popular demographic is 25-34-year-olds. Arbor Mist also cross-promotes their Pinterest page (which is full of quotes, recipes to pair with their wines and even dream destinations), Twitter and Instagram on Facebook, which creates a unified branded presence.

Transparent and authentic executions resonate most with Millennials and allow us to experiment with what really tickles our fancy. Develop a no-fuss mobile application that lets burgeoning winos read about the history of your vineyard, the flavor notes of each wine, reviews and popular food pairings.

Vivino and Hello Vino are two free applications that allows users to access reviews and ratings from millions worldwide winos. On Vivino, you can
instantly share suggestions with friends, receive personalized recommendations and discover new wines by country or grape. Hello Vino serves as a personal wine assistant and the anti-thesis for “uber enthusiasts and wine snobs”. This app allows you to uncover down-to-earth recommendations for food, preference or occasion and also offers tailored in-app deals and gift suggestions.

Choose packaging for an Earth-conscious and on-the-go consumer in mind.

The tradition 750ml glass wine bottle is becoming a bit of a relic to Millennials, who are more likely to pay more for sustainable products. The YAYA wino craves eco-friendly packaging like recycled cardboard boxes, aluminum cans or even single-serve pouches.

Wine is bulky, fragile and even messy to travel with. Brands like Nuvino and One Glass Wines understand this and have developed easy, no-fuss pouches that preserve and seal in the flavor, making these an economical and eco-friendly option for the constant on-the-go Millennial lifestyle.

Any nod to wine and Millennial consumption would be incomplete without mentioning Franzia and something about “slapping the bag”. Franzia is sold in 3 and 5-liter cardboard boxes and boasts they sell the “world’s most cost and carbon efficient wine”. Packing their products in recycled cardboard boxes produces significantly less CO2 emission, less packaging and wine waste and an overall smaller carbon footprint. Franzia is one of the most cost effective, yet classy ways to get a buzz, which is a win-win for Millennials.

What’s your wine of choice and why? Tweet us @YAYAConnect or comment below and let us know what brands hit your sweet, grapey spot!


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6th May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 2
 Donald Sterling is lost (and America is too)

By: Krista Pulley, Audience Development – Pinterest & Instagram 

“I’m not you, and you’re not me. You’re supposed to be a delicate white or a delicate Latina girl,” said Donald Sterling, the owner of the Clippers, to his girlfriend, a Latina and black woman.

In the phone call, Sterling urged his girlfriend to stop bringing her black friends to games and posting pictures of her with black people on her Instagram. After TMZ leaked the phone conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, the video went viral. Just three days later, Sterling was banned from the NBA and fined $2.5 million.

The power of racism is shown through the idea that Sterling was okay with friends knowing about his girlfriend, though he was married, but he wasn’t okay with them knowing she has black friends.

The Zeta Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc felt entitled to make sure the University of Missouri campus understood how much of a disgrace Sterling’s comments were and that there should be disciplinary actions taken. The event “#BLACKOUTAGAINSTTHECLIPPERS” encouraged all Mizzou students to wear black and post images with the hashtag #blackoutagainsttheclippers to show their disapproval of Sterling. On April 28, 2014, Mizzou’s campus was filled with men and women dressed in black from head to toe.

Though we did get the end result we hoped for, Sterling being banned and fined, we can’t simply say “America no longer tolerates racism” because that is far from the truth. Sterling is not the first to pay repercussions for racist comments, remember Don Imus and Jimmy Synder (Jimmy the Greek). His banning (and the previous similar situations) merely tells us that when statements are blatantly racist, we will (sometimes) take action. But, what about the unconscious and subtle racism and inequalities that surround us everyday?

Though the youth and young adults (YAYA), 18-24 year olds, is less likely to partake in racism and more likely to fight against it, America, as whole, has a long way to go. Unconscious racism is a factor that lurks in many American’s minds regardless whether they acknowledge it or not. It comes from passed down behaviors and perceived environments, where the mind begins to make unconscious thoughts about what you assume, think, perceive and ultimately believe. Although it may not be apparent to the blind eye, it comes out in the form of subliminal
gestures and comments.

A racist comment such as the one at the beginning of the blog has been overlooked for comments such as “Well then, if you don’t feel—don’t come to my games. Don’t bring black people, and don’t come.” This comment, in particular, has continually been publicized on news outlets. Yet, other comments not nearly as much, an example being the quote at the beginning of the blog. His thinking that black females are not “delicate” pulls from media and stereotypes that have manifested from unconscious racism. This comment was highly racist, but it is unclear if the general public would have thought that if it was a stand alone comment. Because general statement that loom from stereotypes are said everyday. That is a sad, but true reality.

In a Pew Research Study, 88% of African Americans said they there is a lot or some discrimination about blacks. Sometimes the most obvious forms of racism displayed against a person of color, others wouldn’t even recognize because society is still allowing it.

In response to the Sterling tape, Benita Brown, an African American student at the Missouri School of Journalism said, “I wasn’t surprised that he thought these things, I was surprised that he said it.”

She was not surprised he had racist thoughts, but she was surprised that he expressed his racist thoughts to a female who is part African American. Because again, in today’s society, though some may say it is not socially acceptable to express racist thoughts, they absolutely still reign the minds of many.

Can this be overcome? Of course, a change is always possible, but it will only begin to change if we reevaluate the environment we live in. Americans need to reevaluate, and do some real analyzing of race relationships in America. The Don Sterling situation should remind us that we still have a long way to go in terms of racism.

Unconscious racism is not a YAYA issue but a nationwide issue that needs to be addressed between races. We live in a society where we do not want to acknowledge that racism still looms the air, but instead we wish and continue to live in a “racist-free” bubble. Racism is still very alive. As a woman of color, I attest that racism is still a very serious issue.






Photo credit:

Jordan Williams, Missouri School of Journalism Student



5th May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 2
Cinco De Millennial

By: Elena Christiansen – Webmaster

Does anyone actually know how the holiday Cinco de Mayo originated? Cinco de Mayo is, as most people know, a Mexican holiday which celebrates the Battle of Puebla where Mexican troops defeated an invading French army. So why then do us Americans celebrate it? The Cinco de Mayo that we have come to know has nothing to do with the battle of Puebla, but rather has been revamped and “Americanized.”

Millennials enjoy partaking in the festivities that come with Cinco de Mayo and with $200 billion in buying power, the holiday offers a prime opportunity for marketers. In addition, we are notorious for pre-celebrating holidays, celebrating on the actual holiday and post celebrating – giving marketers a huge window. But how do marketers capitalize on this holiday without being lost in the clutter of junk advertising surrounding Cinco de Mayo?

A DON'T of Cinco de Mayo advertising.

A DON’T of Cinco de Mayo advertising.


The generic sombrero and margarita centered Cinco de Mayo advertising is not going to cut it when trying to reach the youth and young adult (YAYA) market. Nor can advertisers merely put a Cinco de Mayo spin on their traditional advertising. Marketers need to reach YAYA consumers in meaningful ways that show how their products will enhance our Cinco de Mayo celebrations, versus any other weekend or holiday. Buzzfeed has created the perfect crash-course listical on the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to Cinco de Mayo.


The YAYAs market is frequently stereotyped as a “party” generation; that isn’t to say that we don’t enjoy a good night out, but we are looking for more than just a good deal at a bar. Marketer’s who can find a way to position their promotions in a way that adds value to our experience will successfully strike a chord with the YAYA demographic. An excellent example of this execution is the Cinco de Mayo “Pup” Crawl that local bars in Columbia, Missouri and the local Humane Society teamed up to sponsor, where all the proceeds will be donated to the Humane Society. The YAYA market loves to donate, but often feels limited on time to give. This is a perfect example of a way to engage the YAYA market in a valuable way.



Too often marketers push products on the YAYA market that don’t particularly seem to mesh well with our lives. With our fast paced lives, the key for marketers to take away is to not only promote a valuable product but also promote how it ties in to the YAYA consumer’s experience. Pinterest is an optimum platform to showcase  the applicability of your product to the YAYA market. It is full of recipes, party planning ideas, printables, piñatas and more when one searches for Cinco de Mayo. Pinterest and other online mediums, such as blogs, are perfect places to give a detailed and visual representation on how your product is going to enhance the YAYA market’s Cinco de Mayo festivities.

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? What brands come to mind when you think about planning your Cinco de Mayo get together?



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3rd May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 8
Ready or Not, Here We Come

By: Stephanie Pegler, Public Relations – Events

The final countdowns begin, the panic sets in and lecture halls inevitably start to look sparse. 1.6 million of us soon-to-be college graduates are preparing to say goodbye to our four years of collegiate bliss and dive headfirst into adulthood.

While some of us graduates might be reluctant to leave our soon-to-be alma maters, there’s no denying that we have a lot to offer in the real world. Millennials, age 18-34, currently comprise 36% ofphoto1 the workforce – a number that will grow to 50% by 2020. This year’s graduates are the tail-end of the Millennial generation, and we have some interesting traits to bring to the workplace.


1. We are the first generation of digital natives.

We were born into the digital age. Technology is in our bloodstream. We possess the hard technological skills that are necessary in the workplace, and this proficiency can lead to improved processes and efficient results. What’s more,  80% of us are on social media sites daily- we’re always connected and easily accessible. As far as the professional world of social media goes, you can expect to find us on LinkedIn- 35% of us are active users

 2. We have social skills (really, we do!)

Our childhood memories include face- to-face interaction with our friends. Technology wasn’t nearly as prevalent in our lives in 1990 as it is now. Dinnertime wasn’t interrupted by text messages and cell phone calls, and play dates didn’t include iPads and iPhones. We were growing up as technology was growing up, and we were still young enough to catch on quickly to new technological trends. As young adults today, we have well- developed social skills from our early years and seasoned technical skills from the past decade of digital evolution. The coming generations are on track to face a challenge when it comes to interpersonal skills in the workplace.

3. We have a results driven work ethicphoto4

Millennials have a “results achieved” mindset that is different from previous generations. It’s not just about the time put in, it’s about the meaningfulness behind the work we do.  72% of students consider having a job where they can make an impact to be very important to their happiness. We don’t see things in black and white, and we’re open to change. What does this mean in the workplace? Open minded employees and quality work. How can you go wrong?

4. We’re not tied down

The Millennial generation is less likely to be married between the ages of 18-32. This means more time for work and personal growth than some of their older counterparts might have. Flexibility comes into play here, also. 45% of Millennials will choose flexibility in the workplace over pay, which is reflected in the current shift away from the 9-5 work model. Technology and connectivity present an opportunity for change as more companies are placing emphasis on results.

5. Confidence is key

75% of Millennials consider themselves authentic and will not compromise their values. Confidence and ambition are some of our defining traits. We are constantly looking for learning and advancement opportunities within a company. This is all reflected in the statistic that over three quarters of us are confident about our futures. We’ve got the whole world out there waiting for us, and we’re ready to embrace it.

A fresh group of bright, motivated Millennial graduates will soon be entering the working world and inevitably challenging the current workplace landscape. Changes are sure to be seen as companies shift to fit the needs and values of their employees. How do you feel about Millennials entering the workforce? Are our differences welcome? How can your company capitalize on the traits we offer? Let us know your thoughts.

Also check out these related articles:





Image Credit:

#1: http://www.edcentral.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/5464307193_95bc00e479_o.jpg

#2: http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8284/7650804342_9715bb425f_b.jpg

#3: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3773/9023458423_de875d8c9f_z.jpg

1st May 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 2
Making Green Without Selling Green

By: Katie Bunimovich, SEO Manager and Blogger Outreach

Weed is the word, at least when it comes to bringing in a lot of money. A new industry is forming after the green plant’s medical legalization in 20 states and Washington D.C. and more recently, recreational legalization in Washington and Colorado. Estimated to bring in $30 billion a year in the United States, its consumption alone is the fastest growing industry in America. Surpassing the growth of smartphones, marijuana is bringing in the green (pun intended) and its growth is expected to increase as more states ease up on their regulations

Steve Berg, editor of the second edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets report, says there is a “seismic” shift in public attitudes and as public opinion changes, the laws are likely to reflect this. According to the Pew Research Center Millennials are the largest group supporting legalization with 65 percent in favor of legalizing marijuana, a 29 percent increase from 2008. Berg states, “Younger voters will become a bigger proportion of the overall voting base. It begins with shifts in attitudes and that translates to initiatives.” Not only are millennials supportive of marijuana, they are eager to capitalize on the new industry without selling the plant!

One such example is The ArcView Group, an investor group for cannabis related business that hopes for a day “when not a single adult in the world is punished for this plant.” With funding from The ArcView Group, three Millennials have created their own start up companies.

Untitled1. RODAWG

When most people think “stoner” they picture a stereotypical shaggy dude wearing a tie-dye t-shirt and smoking a bong on his couch; RODAWG’s mission is to change this perception.

Their goal is put out luxury smoking accessories that make weed classy. Currently RODAWG’s only product available for consumers is a flat, rectangular joint case that “looks like a classed-up version of the repurposed Altoids tins of yore.” However, their line for marijuana dispensaries is more extensive including plastic containers wpicith childproof caps and biodegradable pouches for edibles.

Joshua Gordon, Fordham Business School alum, started the company with his own savings and a small investment from his father. After receiving a $500,000 investment from ArcView, he now operates the first marijuana luxury accessory brand with a staff made up of mostly millennials.

2. WeCanna

Claire Grusin Kaufmann created the very first crowdfunding website for the cannabis industry. Kauffman, who received her MBA from Pepperdine University, is not only being funded by ArcView, but is also being joined by two of the company’s executives to run the business. Through rewards-based crowdfunding, and eventually equity crowdfunding, WeCanna strives to accelerate the industry and expand the market through research and development. Kaufmann sees the potential for innovation in the growing industry and she firmly states, “This is not your mama’s cannabis industry anymore.”

3. MassRoots

MassRoots is a social networking app surrounded around, you guessed it, weed! Although cannabis is becoming more widely accepted, co-founder Tyler Knight says the app offers users an anonymous feature because, “most cannabis consumers can’t post about marijuana on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter because their families and coworkers are on these networks. Our goal was to create an anonymous and private network where they can do comparable postings …”
The youth and young adult (YAYA) market, those aged 18-24, makes up 90 percent of the app’s users. With location-based services, MassRoots connects users to the marijuana community in their area and claims to have the highest-quality marijuana related content on the web. The company plans to monetize through advertising, making it a sales and distribution channel for other retailers as well. According to the Business Wire, MassRoots has had 80,000 active users and 50,000 daily app opens since their launch in July 2013, and this metric is expected to grow exponentially. As a result of the start-ups rapid success, Founder and CEO Isaac Dietrich was a finalist for Peter Thiel’s 20 under 20 fellowship. Dietrich was also featured on CNBC’s documentary about the business leaders of tomorrow. The 21-year-old entrepreneur turned down offers from NYU, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of Virginia because he didn’t think he needed a degree to excel in business.

Being the most supportive of legalization, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Millennials are optimistic about the future of the Marijuana industry. Yet,  with the majority of states still outlawing marijuana use, many investors are skeptical about this industry’s potential growth.

What do you think? Is the future bright for marijuana-related start-ups, or is it a risky endeavor that entrepreneurs should avoid?




Launch PDF file.





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30th Apr 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 4
Logged into Twitter, saw Facebook...?

By: Sapna Khatri, Editor

Don’t worry, it wasn’t just you who was surprised and confused by the Twitter redesign. We all thought it looked eerily similar to something else…

The redesign has been the hot topic recently in the social media world. After much discussion of brands succeeding and failing in their SM ways (circa, American Airlines, US airways smh), it looks like Twitter is getting some attention from social media gurus for other reasons.

With this latest redesign, the networking medium may be set for a home run with all generations–and if not a home run, it will at least make a base hit. Twitter is out to win the hearts of the youth and young adult market (YAYA, ages 18-24) and our parents through its latest design.

Think about it, what made parents gravitate toward Facebook? Rob pointed out several factors in an earlier post about this migration to Facebook. Among these factors is the ease of communication. The interface and network established by Facebook made it enticing to many Gen X’ers. The ability to share more images and status updates beyond the 140-Twitter-character limit also generated quite the following.

The redesign brings another realm of familiarity to its users. While it may not be quintessentially Twitter, the Facebook-like interface of a cover photo, profile picture and posts gives users a taste of what they know. Beyond the familiarity is deeper strategy on behalf of Twitter.

The thoughtful strategy behind Twitter’s new design is to capitalize on its growing user base and encourage greater user engagement. As a marketer, you can benefit from this strategy by taking advantage of all that new Twitter has to offer. For example with a decluttered Twitter feed, your tweets have a greater impact on users. Making them engaging, entertaining and easy to understand will allow more traffic to your Twitter profile, more pins and ultimately greater interaction.

Speaking of pinned tweets, they will become your best friend. Pinning is no longer just for Pinterest as it became a critical feature of Twitter’s redesign. It provides you with the ability to strategically select a single tweet promoting your credentials or interests to “pin” at the top of your profile; thus setting the tone for your Twitter profile and making that tweet the first thing visitors see. This pin option coupled with filtering options allow you to pick what others see on your Twitter page, and what you see from them. Another nifty feature is that the filtering isn’t limited to just tweets; you can filter out photos/videos as well as tweets and replies.

You also get to share more about your company, brand, or enterprise. Its a two-way street. While job seekers are falling in love with the ability to capitalize on this new quantity over quality mentality by showing a more accurate picture of their skills, you can do the same. Post more photos, more tweets, more credentials promoting yourself. The new design allows users to share up to 4 photos at a time-a feat not accomplished since its inception, until now of course.

14 of the top 20 global brands, at the time of this writing, have made the switch to the new Twitter, recognizing its full potential. While the initial switch gives us a very similar vibe to Facebook, this isn’t all bad. In fact, the good outweighs the bad and similarity may be helping Twitter’s analytics. Is that just us, or do you too see benefit to the new design? Would you have made the switch? Tell us more in the comments below or tweet at our new Twitter profile @YAYAConnect!

Feel free to click through some examples of major companies Twitter redesigns:


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28th Apr 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 4
Mile Time or Photo Likes: What's Your Personal Record?


By: Erin Morris, Copy Editor 


That word either makes you groan or gets you excited for your next workout. The traditional look of exercising often involves free weights and running long distances on flat, straight roads until your muscles give out.

For individuals in the 18-24 year old youth and young adult (YAYA) demographic, this is our parents’ workout.

Sure, stamina and strength are built, but where is the excitement, the individuality of my workout? Shouldn’t I want it to be an adventure? Why run at all if the payoff isn’t memorable?

Now we come into the trend of working out today, what I like to call “journey” or “adventure workouts.” Take for instance, Tough Mudder. Will Dean, CEO of Tough Mudder, LLC decided to change the perspective of endurance activities from focusing on silent concentration and record times, to celebrating a runner’s finish of a race and the enjoyment of running with friends.

On social media, it’s hard to ignore another one of the latest trends in the race adventures. The Color Run a run/walk 5K race features spray guns of color that give incentive and a palette of fun.

The organization hosts hundreds of obstacle races focused on camaraderie and and the joy of finishing a challenging physical activity. So why is it that we want so much emotional connection out of our exercise routines?

One way to look at this is trend is the more mobile lifestyle we are taking on. Why not show off your run to the social media world while you are out there? Social influencer and VP of Barkley Jeff Fromm states that two out of five Millennials feel anxious going anywhere without their smartphones. This mobile use can even go so far as texting and checking emails when you’re on mile eight. Mobile connection and brand engagement continue to be on the rise.

Fromm also points out an enigma of the mobile Millennial generation: we are people who crave adventure and excitement…but only in a safe realm. This proves “adventures” such as Tough Mudder can provide that contained excitement and thrill for the YAYA market. This additionally supports the Millennial desire to live healthier and balanced lives by eating cleaner, better and being more active.

Another type of adventure race is taking over America. Beyond just the boom of popularity in 5K races and other distance races, running activities featuring paint/spray guns of colors are capturing runners and walkers of all ages. The most popular, The Color Run, travels on the Kaleidoscope Tour in hundreds of U.S. cities focusing on “healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back.” Indeed, racing and distance exercises are no longer about having Rocky finishes at the top of the stairs or setting new a pace….it’s about the experience with your health and with your loved ones.

So how can marketers reach out to our sportier individuals of our market?

The rewards-based market of YAYA will relish in Instagram likes of their morning adventure runs or their group shots of post-game pick-up victories. Morning yoga with Mom, ultimate frisbee with your dorm mates, and half-marathons with your best friend are where memories are made. Take the concept of “with” and help young adults make individual events, team championships.

Additionally, the YAYA market has a very different concept of health and wellness. Prevention is the new penicillin and the holistic approach is how to keep yourself balanced. Be physically active and emotionally active. The first two focus points of The Color Run are healthiness and happiness. The focus to a more active life is also a more active social life.

How do you think you can connect with these mobile athletes? Comment below with your thoughts.  

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25th Apr 2014 Posted in: YAYA Wire 10
Movie Remakes: Why There’s No Leaving Them

By: Krista Pulley, Audience Development – Instagram, Pinterest

Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, remakes. Why do we fall for them? It seems that members of the youth and young adult (YAYA) market are especially keen to them. While there are stories that some of us have heard time and time again, we’ll still find ourselves queuing up for the midnight release as if we’re anticipating something completely new.

To name a few: The Great Gatsby, The Parent Trap, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Lone Ranger, Carrie, Freaky Friday, etc. On the list, and causing some controversy is Annie, set to debut in December 2014.

In 2011, 9 of the top 10 grossing films in the US were sequels or remakes followed by 4 out of 10 in 2012 and 6 out of 10 in 2013. Despite those who believe remakes simply mean writers lack originality, many remakes continue to be successful. Remakes continue to have us running to the Box Office.

Movie studios are not the only ones who should take advantage of a classic movie, marketers should as well. Because whether you hate or love them, YAYA consumers are keeping them relevant. Now of course, marketers can’t become film directors and develop remakes, but they can use the same strategy. This strategy is to  target based on nostalgia and familiarity.

Understand that the magic ticket is: “They’re pre-sold,” said Professor Wheeler Dixon, a James Ryan Professor of Film Studies. Creating immediate nostalgia and familiarity is key.

With remakes, the original movie holds a place is our heart and mind which automatically makes it more engaging and marketable. Don Draper in Mad Men said it best, “Nostalgia is a twig in your heart far more popular than memory alone…It takes us to a place we ache to go again.”


So what about remakes is keeping YAYA consumers running to the Box:

Reminiscing on childhood

Remakes are movies that we loved as children or movies that our parents sucked us into. Remakes put a soft spot in our hearts and bring us back to a different time, when we first saw the movie. Remakes spawn from successful movies. Before any peep of the remake, the movie will resonate with a viewer solely because of its’ source.

Curiosity of Plot Changes

Regardless of how we feel about Hollywood changing around a movie we love, our curiosity of what will be different won’t allow us to sit out. We want to know if they kept our favorite scene, if the new actors stayed true to the original characters and if they had the nerve to change the ending.

Proving, It’ll Never Be the Same

Every generation believes their era knew best, and YAYAs are no exception.

YAYA consumers love, yet hate to see a movie that’s better than the original they know and love. It’s a love-hate situation. A great example was the remake of The Karate Kid in 2010. This movie did really well in the box office, but we’d never turn our back on a classic, with The Karate Kid, we must give props because we were impressed.

So, what exactly does all this mean? Less attempting to reel us in, and more direct targeting.

Remakes are here to stay.  The audience, attention and interest is there, the movie provided that for you. YAYA consumers resonate with nostalgia and familiarity. When attempting to reach us, use something that already has resonation. Because then you’ve already half-way sold us on a product, service, etc., saving time, thought, and a lot of  potential money.

As said in the Daily Nebraskan, “originality means risk.” Therefore use the nostalgia and familiarity strategy! It cuts risk for marketers.








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