Millennials, LOLs, and Snapchat: Hear from Viacom’s Leaders at #SMWNYC

Viacom and its many global media brands specialize in television programming, motion pictures and other entertainment content. It’s one of the world’s largest media companies reaching audiences in 180 countries. Like everyone else, they face the many challenges of an evolving digital and media landscape, with new audiences and consumers using technology in new and entirely different ways.

How does Viacom ensure that they’re engaging fans, viewers, customers, advertisers, and future generations as effectively as they’ve done year after year?

At SMW New York, leaders from Viacom, Comedy Central, and MTV will participate in a variety of sessions and conversations, ranging from the future generation after Millennials, to the best brands on Snapchat. Here are the four sessions featuring Viacom executives:

1. The Best Brands On Snapchat

Tuesday, February 23rd • 12:30pm • TimesCenter
Snapchat is the new battleground for the most innovative brands, and attendees will meet the marketers behind the ghost that are already crushing it on this emerging platform. Sarah Epler (Senior Director, Social Media & Fan Engagement, MTV) will participate in this session alongside leaders from VaynerMedia, Nasdaq, American Airlines, and The Wall Street Journal.

2. Keynote with Comedy Central’s Chief Marketing Officer, Walter Levitt

Wednesday, February 24th • 1:30pm • TimesCenter
Comedy Central’s CMO will give an overview of the brand’s social media and on-the-ground tactics and strategy. Attendees will learn key insights into what makes Comedy Central successful at engaging fans and driving conversations.

Walter will help answer the question, “What are the steps to get your own audience and fan-base to actively talk about your brand?” with examples from Comedy Central’s roster of award-winning franchises and multi-platform programming.

3. How marketers can be successful with Facebook and Instagram coexisting

Thursday, February 25th • 1:00pm • SVA Theatre
Facebook is a highly effective channel for driving advertising performance at scale, and Instagram is a creatively inspiring platform, great at generating engagement – especially among Millennials. Hear from Kristin Rolla Mirek (VP, Multi-Platform Development & Marketing, TV Land at Viacom) during this session, as she and other media industry leaders will share how advertisers can complement the strengths of each platform to achieve unprecedented levels of success.

4. Hello “Founders” – Meet the Generation after Millennials, presented by MTV

Friday, February 26th • 2:30pm • The TimesCenter
When MTV first began researching post-Millennials, none of the generational names currently in play seemed to sum up the essence of the kids themselves. So they asked, “why not go straight to the source?” The MTV Insights spoke to 13-14-year-olds in-person and via virtual focus groups, and discovered the name most of them wanted for their generation. The result?… “The Founders”. Yes, seriously, The Founders.

Along with this new name came instructive insights into what drives this generation on-the-rise and the responsibility they feel to build upon the societal blocks that Millennials are famous for disrupting.

Hear from Tom Fishman (SVP of Audience Growth and Engagement, MTV), Jane Gould (SVP of Consumer Insights and Research, MTV), Alison Hillhouse (VP of MTV Insights) and Taylor Trudon (Voices Editor, MTV News) for a discussion on what sets The Founders apart from Millennials, and what principles brands will need to consider for future marketing efforts.

Hear from Tom Fishman (SVP of Audience Growth and Engagement, MTV), Jane Gould (SVP of Consumer Insights and Research, MTV), and Taylor Trudon (Voices Editor, MTV News) for a discussion on what sets The Founders apart from Millennials, and what principles brands will need to consider for future marketing efforts.

6 Ways for Marketers to Understand Millennials this Social Media Week

Ok, New York, you’re stuck indoors with yet another snowstorm this winter, and we know what you’re up to. You’re feeding those guilty pleasures: those preferences on Netflix you never want anyone to see. Well, as much as we might hate to admit it, what we’re seeing on Hulu and other platforms is largely shaped by the generation coming behind us. There’s a reason Party in the South is debuting. And this is exciting.

Millennials are shaping our future, and we need to understand this. Everything from our recreational options to innovation in industries like health, you either gotta keep up or get out of the way. And we want to help you keep up:

  1. 5 Ways Millennials’ Habits Are Changing How Content is Made and Shared
    The first step is to admit you need a deeper understanding. So, we recommend starting out SMW14 with Complex Media and their friends to learn how the Millennial generation’s habits are causing a speedy shift in how content is created and distributed. From the discovery of new talent and Vine stars to the ever present listicle, you’ll need a deeper understanding of this generation to get your marketing on track.
  2. How To Build a Brand That People Don’t Buy, They Join
    The millennial generation is the most cause-oriented generation since World War II. So, how do you get them to buy into your brand with a movement? That’s exactly what Zady, charity: water, and Whole Foods have managed to master. Join them to hear more and take away from their case studies ways your brand can become more connected to our passionate generation.
  3. Fueling Social Fandom at MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central
    Once you understand millennials better, it’s time to look to those who serve them best. Comedy Central has the market cornered currently, and MTV was once king of youth. But for both, this demographic is key. The two have quite a bit they can share and learn from each. So, we’re putting them together with VH1 to highlight how you can keep your fan base engaged, drawing from their own examples in everything from online to apps. You can’t miss this session. (Don’t believe us? Comedy Central’s past event on How To Be Funny in 140 Characters was in such high demand that we had to repeat it last year!)

  4. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, a Conversation with Author danah boyd and Andrew Rasiej
    Now, it’s time to get advanced. Without contest, few understand youth better than Microsoft Researcher danah boyd. She’s written about what’s new in how teenagers communicate through platforms, and specifically how social media affects the quality of teens’ lives. And at SMW14, she’ll be sharing her findings on identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Anyone working with youth and millennials will need to stop in and check on danah.
  5. Reading Is No Longer Fundamental: The Shift to Visual Vocabulary
    Our streams are flooded with gifs, Instagram, emojis, and bitstrips. We’re moving to a very visual marketing period, and it’s driven by millennials. “Visual” is a new language that needs to be mastered. As we look to the future, we have to ask: Is this a new era for cross-cultural communication, or is it changing the way we think – and not for the better? JWT leads a group of experts to really look at this impact, particularly in commerce.
  6. The Future of Now: Health Innovation Track, Sponsored by Merck
    And while we’re talking about movements, no generation was more supportive of health innovation than millennials. They are now turning away from politics to find other ways they can create innovation in the healthcare industry. That’s something Merck knows a thing or two about. Value-creation in the healthcare arena is now inextricably connected to digital and social technology. In this special three-hour track, we’ll explore how health is innovating and what’s to come in the future.

Registration is open! Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners, Nokia for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our always on, always connected world.

Your First Look: The Initial Official SMW NYC Schedule

SMW NYC is just around the corner, and we want to give you the first look at what’s to come! Today we unveil our initial Official Schedule.

We told you Cindy was blowing shit up this year, and we weren’t lying. Leading a special series on Changing the World through Sex, she will explore what the marketing and advertising industry is missing by not acknowledging, targeting and leveraging consumer behavior around sex and porn, from pioneering brands who are. And she’s just the beginning.

SMW14 will also feature social media heads from MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central highlighting how social media is ushering in new rules for developing fan bases and keeping them engaged. The Dachis Group and socialdeviant will gaze into the future to explore what our daily lives will look like in 2020, where wearable tech is heading, and what we can expect from dating.

And staying on the trend of the future, Joe Marchese leads a look at where advertising is heading and how we can break the cycle of greed and manipulation in it.

We’ll also explore how millennials are shaping it all, from the discovery of new talent (eg, Vine stars) to the creation of content expressly designed to be shared (eg, listicles).

See our full preview here, grab your pass, and start saving your Favorites.