September 18, 2019

Millennial Fiancés Wrap-Up - AMP Agency Ethnography Series

The Strategy team at AMP is on a mission to better understand marketers’ most sought-after consumer segments. Each week, individuals from these segments take over @AMP_Agency  Instagram stories to give us a peek into their world as part of our digital ethnography series, “Through Their Eyes.”

 

Throughout June and July, we focused on millennials who are in the midst of planning their weddings and saw the world from the perspective of Jillian from Allentown, PA, Casey from Chicago, and Haley and John from Boston. 

 

As marketers, we frequently consider how to reach and resonate with our audiences during times of pivotal life moments. This month, we decided to focus on the time leading up to what is often considered to be the “most important day of your life” – your wedding day. How are engaged millennials posting on their Instagram Stories during this time? What do they consider to be the elements of their day worth showcasing? Keep reading to find out. 

 

The way to the heart is still through the stomach

Yes, learning to co-manage meal routines is integral to cohabitating (see our earlier Grocery Diaries reflection for more here), but our participants’ Stories also reminded us that sharing meals together is still the perfect setting for creating memories as a couple. 

 

Food is especially important to Haley and John, as they met at culinary school, and their Stories showed the small ways in which food helps them “play house” as a couple and demonstrate their care for one another: John made Haley breakfast, while Haley texted John a photo of the quiche she was making for him in turn later that day. 

 

Food also plays a role beyond the day-to-day drudgery, as we saw Jillian and her fiancé’s spread at a taco date night, as well as Casey and her fiancé posing at the dinner table during their friend’s wedding reception. 


The New York Times understands the hecticness of this time in fiancés’ lives and the power of food to force a couple to slow down and enjoy each other – in their robust How to Plan a Wedding guide, they even go so far as to instruct the reader to take a break from wedding plan and go on a date. There’s opportunity for brands in relevant industries like food, restaurant, and grocery to remind millennials at the wedding planning stage that they deserve a break.

 

Breakfast   Guac   Couple

Food is love: (L to R) John cooks Haley breakfast, Jillian enjoys date night, and Casey poses at the dinner table during her friend’s wedding reception.

 

Everyone else in their life is getting married and having babies too

While culture likes to romanticize weddings as a time to completely celebrate oneself and one’s partner, in reality this time is extra stressful because fiancés aren’t just planning their own affairs – they’re spending considerable time and money attending and participating in their millennial friends’ similar milestones and events. While the average wedding in 2019 cost almost $39,000, nearly 20% of millennials say they’ve also spent $1,000+ to attend a friend’s wedding. 

 

In fact, our soon-to-be-Mrs. Casey, chose to take over our Story on a day when she was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. We followed as she got ready (in matching wedding tribe tees), put on her bridesmaid dress, and enjoyed the beautiful venue. While it was undoubtedly a day filled with love and memories, we were reminded that in an already financially-stressful time, wedding expenses go beyond those for a bride and groom’s own big day.


While financial tools like Ellevest for wealth management or The Knot for wedding planning help fiancés save for a wedding and keep an event budget, brands like these could expand their offerings by helping millennials also account for the money they need to save in order to participate in friends’ celebrations in the same time period. 

 

Rose   Friends

While planning their own weddings, brides and grooms may also be participating in – and budgeting for –  friends’ marital events. Every fun wedding extra, like Bride Tribe t-shirts, should be factored into budgets for brides, grooms, and members of the wedding party.

 

“I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!”

At the end of the day, our Millennial Fiancés warmed our hearts. (And maybe that’s because of the prolific use of heart emojis, gifs, and stickers they used on their Stories.) By following the days of Jillian, Casey, and Haley and John, one couldn’t help but sense the wave of positive energy that comes over an engaged couple during this exciting time in their lives. And while the “big” moments, like Jillian’s wedding band shopping, surely set off a surge of emotion, Instagram Stories also continues to be an arena for sharing all the “small” details that might make a fiancé smile when spending the day with the one they love, like Jillian taking her partner to the site of her childhood summer camp, or Haley driving John to work. 

 

When brands speak with millennials, who are likely in the midst of major life events, they shouldn’t forget utilizing imagery and copy that also celebrates everyday life and the small moments that make it all worth it. 

 

Wedding band shopping  Teamwork  Bae to work

Don’t forget the small stuff: While Instagram is of course ideal for posting about big milestones, like Jillian’s wedding band shopping (L),  you can also feel couples’ excitement as they experience “regular” days with their partner.

June 13, 2019

“Through Their Eyes” Digital Ethnography Series: Gen Z Wrap-Up

The Strategy team at AMP is on a mission to better understand marketers’ most sought-after consumer segments. Each week, individuals from these segments take over @AMP_Agency  Instagram stories to give us a peek into their world as part of our digital ethnography series, “Through Their Eyes.”

 

In May we focused on Gen Z college students and saw the world from the perspective of Courtney from Oregon State University, Cortes from California Polytechnic State University, Alexa from UMass Amherst, and Haidar from the University of Rhode Island.

 

Move over, millennials. Marketers’ latest obsession is with Gen Z, the cohort born between 1995 and the early 2010s. You might already know that they’re pragmatic and frugal, multicultural and accepting, and native to the digital world. But we uncovered a few more insights as we followed four college students preparing for finals and the summer ahead...

 

Everyday, they’re hustling

Everyday Gen Z is hustling, and we mean that quite literally – a decorative sign with that very motto was spotted in the background of one of Alexa’s posts, next to a Post-It reminder that said, "Harvard Business or Bust.” Follow any one of these individuals around for the day and be prepared to be exhausted. Both Courtney and Cortes found time for workouts between multiple classes, work shifts, and study sessions, while Alexa is on the board of five different clubs and Haidar’s roster of classes as a Global Business Major and Arabic Studies and Engineering double minor is enough to make your head spin. Our team wasn’t surprised to see this given what we’ve read about the generation as a hard working and focused bunch – only 38% think work-life balance  is important, compared to 47% of millennials, and 58% say ‘bring it’ to working nights and weekends in exchange for a better salary.

 

Throughtheireyes

No (iced) coffee, no workee

While all that hustle is self-driven, it’s apparently also fueled by caffeine – specifically in the form of iced coffee. We couldn’t help but notice that three of our four participants made a point of creating a post specifically in admiration of their respective iced coffees, ‘gramming it beautifully against a flowering bush, decorating their coffee selfies with a “good day today” gif, and even adding Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us” as background music for the post (below). It all made sense, when our research showed that 56% of Gen Z has purchased iced coffee in the past month.

 

Icedcoffee1Icedcoffee2icedcoffee3

They find fun in responsibility

We were impressed by Gen Z’s ability to create joy, even during times when duty called. Courtney took her studying outside to a scenic patio. Cortes savored a sparkling coconut water in the sunshine. Alexa got a little sassy with her Stats study guide. And even Haidar, who was busy observing Ramadan during his feature, took a selfie with a friend as they stood in the aisles of a convenience store shoveling down cups of cereal in the early morning hours for Suhur. Despite their exhausting schedules, on-the-go nature, and mountain of responsibilities, Gen Z is clearly able to appreciate and enjoy each moment. In the future, they’ll be looking for workplaces that encourage this outlook as well – 65% of Gen Z look for a “fun” working environment  when assessing whether a company culture is a good fit for them.  

 

Genz1Genz2Genz3

November 22, 2016

Facebook May Have Finally Successfully Cloned Snapchat

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Facebook’s Instagram is stepping up its features to better compete with the dancing ghost. Yesterday, Instagram announced live video in Instagram Stories and ephemeral photos and videos for group and one-on-one messages. Now, there's little to differentiate the two platforms for marketers, according to Justin Celko, our own Associate Director of Social Media at BLITZ. To him, the difference lies in Instagram's history.

One more reason to skip Snapchat.

November 16, 2016

Tastemade's Getting 20 Million Monthly Views (But No Revenue) From Its Instagram Stories

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In October, Tastemade’s main Instagram channel generated 20 million views on its Instagram Stories content. The account, which publishes three to four stories per week, is consistently getting more than a million views per story. That’s the good news. The bad news: Tastemade isn’t making any money off any of these views. Instagram doesn’t offer the opportunity for publishers to run ads in Instagram Stories, and Tastemade hasn’t tried any brand integrations yet.

No dollars for you.

November 10, 2016

Instagram Will Now Let Creators Add URL Links, Tag Friends, and Create Boomerangs in Stories

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Today, Instagram is adding three new features to Stories in what they are calling the biggest update to Stories since its launch, including letting creators add URL links. One of the biggest gripes with Snapchat has been creators can’t add links to their Snaps and Stories, meaning their viewers are stuck inside the Snapchat ecosystem. This makes it extremely hard for creators (and brands) to monetize.

Your move, Snapchat.

October 19, 2016

Instagram's Newest Feature is Incredibly Important

image.jpgWe use Instagram to share photos of the beauty around us, the delicious meals we've eaten or created, and our personal highs. But it is a social network, and we also use it to share our feelings when we're sad, upset, or when we need some moral support. Today, Instagram made some subtle but important changes to its app. Now, if you see a friend post something that feels like a cry for help, you can do something about it — without being confrontational.

See something, say something.

October 10, 2016

Top 10 Instagram Resources to Bring Your Instagram Game to the Next Level

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There are over 500 million Instagrammers across the world — more than 300 million of whom use Instagram daily to share some of their most exciting and precious moments. And with that many people sharing their attention with Instagram every day, there’s a ton of potential for businesses and marketers. Below are the ten top Instagram resources that we hope can help you bring your Instagram game to the next level.

IG game strong.

September 23, 2016

Instagram's COO On Exceeding 500,000 Advertisers and the App's Next Big Opportunity

 

instagram_update-1200x675.jpgThe number of advertisers on Instagram has more than doubled over the last six months and now exceeds 500,000, up from about 200,000 in February, the company announced on Thursday. But what this really highlights, says Instagram’s COO Marne Levine, is Instagram’s strength as a place to market to users’ passions, and that Instagram’s next ticker big opportunity is catering to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Go big and go small.

September 16, 2016

Secret Life of a Seven-Year-Old Instagram Star

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For years, people on the street have crooned over Haileigh, dressed in classic Diane Von Furstenberg-style wrap dresses and fitted. She accessorizes with oversized shades and cross-body purses, making her look like an adult in a child’s body. So Ms. Vasquez began posting pictures of her then three-year-old to Instagram. Four years later, Haileigh has 129,000 followers. The social media posts have turned her into a child model, an aspiring actress and an Instagram star.

Shine like a star, dream like a child.

September 2, 2016

Here's How 6 Brands Are Using Instagram's New Zoom Feature

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This week, the app updated with a zoom feature, which lets people pinch the screen to go in for a closer look at photos and videos. Instagram had said it was a highly in-demand action among its users. Of course, with any update, brands are bound to experiment. Brands like Bud Light, Ruby Tuesday and E! Entertainment Television posted photos inviting users to look closer. Here's a peek at what the brands came up with.

Closer, closer, closer...

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