We sat down with Gaby Jesson, the owner of Radiator Communications for a truly insightful chat about all things youth trends. Read on for her insights:
Radiator Communications are renowned for the inception of some truly creative social and digital campaigns. What has been the one campaign highlight in Radiator Communications’ nearly 16-year history so far? I would probably say the work that we did for Head Tennis and Andy Murray.
Yes, it looked amazing! Is there any particular reason that was a campaign highlight for you? I think because we were allowed to get involved with the project from the beginning to end and we had very central roles creating content. We very much understood what Head Tennis was trying to do and we are particularly good at creating and sharing content. For those reasons it was a campaign that played to our strength on the digital side.
You've partnered with Big Choice Group for the Youth Bubble Trends 2016. What was the biggest surprise from the report?
The overwhelming optimism has been the most surprising thing. In the past few years we've received feedback that indicated an underlying suspicion, a sense of anti-establishment and sheer pessimism for the future for young people. 2016 has been the first year we've really had young people feeling confident about the future.
Overall, they are less worried, relaxed enough to push careers aside for the moment to maximise their life experience (by travelling, for example.) They aren't worried about getting a job as soon as possible. That can wait.
What other youth brands do you admire when it comes to marketing to 16-24s?
My top 2 favourite brands in the UK are Instagram and Airbnb.
A new year furnishes us with plenty of new possibilities. What is your personal youth marketing prediction for 2016?
In terms of changes, I feel the position of the super-blogger is changing; and that the super-blogger's influence will wane. There is more power with peer to peer influence.
So, young people are more likely to listen to what their friends would say over, let's say, Zoella?
You know, I think we're moving forward in both the online space and in real life. Soon, the power of the 'collective' and the power of your peers will become equal, if not more powerful than the super-blogger.
In general, young people are more in tune with one another, and are more inclined to help and support each other. They're creating a collective spirit that sparks the growth of young entrepreneurs, stokes the fire for the traveller or the adventurer. This is all a result of this attitude of mutual support.
After the recession young people have begun mobilising, and this has greatly manifested online and through social media. Those voices, acting as a collective 'one', are more influential than any single individual currently dominating the blogosphere.
At the moment, brands and marketing agencies are looking at numbers, rather than the people and context. They should be more thoughtful with the influence we're trying to make.
And now for a few fun questions. What is your favourite app?
At the moment the Couch 2 5k fitness app is getting back into running. That's tied with Audible, so I can listen to the books I want to read during my busy schedule.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I didn't have just one career in mind. I was interested in lots of things. The thread that bound it all together was communications and broadcasting with a touch of journalism. That, with a sprinkling of marketing.
What are you most looking forward to at YMS? In the past it has been a great opportunity to meet people that work in connecting sectors that I haven't met before. It's a space where we get to share ideas and be inspired. It's just nice, meeting like-minded people in the industry.