YMS19 NYC Top Ten Sessions

The Intersection Of Marketing And Activism 

MTV & Civic Nation debated how and why brands should engage with socio-political issues, in light of the fact young consumers now make decisions based on a brand’s affiliation with the causes they’re passionate about. They covered how brands can effectively use their resources to do good, the risks and rewards of doing so, and what’s actually resonating with Gen Z today. 

Panel: The Teens Of Instagram

Instagram’s Joy Ofodu was joined by three outspoken 16-24 year old IG-native creators for a discussion about expression, kindness, and how teens use Instagram to get closer to the brands they love. They shared how they use their online voices to drive their peers, providing insights on how best to leverage the platform to drive brand engagement across all sectors, giving real youth perspectives on what’s important to Gen Z today. 

How The Power Of Music Can Help Brands Win With Gen Z

Rob Souriall - VP of Global Partnerships at Disney Music Group - covered the landscape of streaming services from Spotify to Apple, Amazon to YouTube, and shared the wealth of options available to Gen Z for discovering new music, as well as who is winning the adoption race to better engage with them. Key takeaways were around how brands can harness music to reach Gen Z where they’re really listening, and where your message will be heard.

Panel: How Traditional Brands Are Reinventing For Gen Z

Starbucks, Crocs, Subway, and MINI - BMW Group came together to tackle how traditional brands are reinventing themselves to better resonate with a new generation of consumers. They highlighted the value of familiar, trustworthy brands in a fast-moving marketplace, and shared how they ensure their brands are perceived as ‘iconic’ rather than ‘dated’, by adapting what they offer to a digital and mobile-first generation. 

Panel: The Last Taboos For Young People

Tinder, PERIOD, It’s On Us, and Planned Parenthood spoke in a candid discussion about how Gen Z are taking controversial socio-political issues into their own hands, from casual sex to reproductive rights, ending period poverty to sexual assault on campus. They explored how and why young people are pushing boundaries in ways previous generations couldn’t, or wouldn’t, and shared why brands have a responsibility to join the dialogue too.

The Race To Cultural Relevance: Innovating For A New Generation Of Sports Fans

The Drone Racing League were joined on-stage by Twitter for a fireside chat on how the world’s premier professional circuit for drone racing has leveraged tech innovation to attract and maintain millions of young fans. Their partnership with Twitter enabled viewers to enjoy immersive new features - such as First Person View flight - online, on broadcast, and for free. Key takeaways were around how 16-24 year olds consume sports content now and in the future.

The Gen Z Traveller

Ryan Anderson (VP of Marketing for Marriott International’s Growth Brands) shared the story of Moxy - Marriott’s affordable, playful branch-off brand catering to the 16-24 year old demographic. He talked through key insights discovered around want Gen Z want from their travel - and brand - experiences, from spontaneity, to community, to social inspiration, with takeaways around how best to future-proof brand offerings in a rapidly evolving world. 

Panel: Breakout Brands & The Future Consumer

Highsnobiety chaired a panel of the hottest breakout brands garnering massive popularity with Gen Z - Gymshark, e.l.f Cosmetics, 21 Buttons, and StockX - to learn how they’ve succeeded at targeting a dynamic and ever-evolving younger demographic. They gave insights into how they’re shaking up the retail and e-Commerce industry of today, in order to better reflect the wants and needs of tomorrow’s consumer. 

TikTok, YouTube, Cameo - What Is Effective Creative In The New Video World? 

Former Head of Global Marketing at TikTok - and now CMO at Cameo - Stefan Heinrich Henriquez took to the stage to share his experiences shaping the marketing strategies at the most popular video-sharing platforms for Gen Z. He talked how best to connect with a generation who doesn’t want to be advertised to, in a world where ‘imperfect is the new perfect’ and attention spans are getting shorter by the minute.

Love For Live: Why IRL Experiences Are The Key To Engaging Digital Natives

Live Nation shared the results of their groundbreaking global study “The Power Of Live” proving why live music is essential to connecting with Gen Z. They demonstrated how in spite of their reputation as digitally dependent, Gen Z are fueling the growth of festivals and concerts, with live music outpacing the growth of digital music. Actionable takeaways were around how brands can harness live music experiences to better engage 16-24 year olds.

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