Leaving Your Brand in the Hands of Teen Influencers

I saw an article in Ad Age recently that discussed how Wet Seal, the retail brand was foraying into SnapChat via a 16 year old. They hired beauty vlogger Meghan Hughes, aka MissMeghanMakeup, because the brand wanted to consciously increase their following on the hot, new social media channel. She took over Wet Seal's SnapChat during the weekend before Christmas and chronicled her days by way of SnapChat stories. And it worked! She got them 4,000 new followers in just over 2 days.

Hiring a teenager to communicate to your brand followers may sound shocking but it's nothing new. Other brands that have enlisted the help of a teen influencer are Taco Bell, MTV, L'Oreal and Kmart to name a few.

Seeing this article in the news reminded me of a presentation I attended back in October at an ARF Young Pros event. Jillian Curran, Senior Manager of MTV Insights provided a great overview of MTV's study on Millennials. Their study decided to focus specifically on the younger Millennial's (14-17 year olds) so they could get a better understanding before the group aged into their core target demographic, ages 18- to 24.

A fascinating point in the presentation was when Jillian shared this key finding: 78% of 14-17 year olds claim "someone I know would consider me an 'expert' in at least one thing." If older Millennials are noted as feeling special, younger Millennials should be noted as being specialized. An image that drove this point home was of Harry Potter representing older Millennials with the word 'specialness' underneath, while a picture of Katniss Everdeen was chosen to represent younger Millennials with the word 'specialism'.

Younger Millennials are taking pride in using the internet to find their own niche interests with 2/3 saying they are into something 'random' that other people aren't. And when they take this knowledge to the internet, they gain a following and fast.

What do you think? Would you leave your brand in the hands of a teen influencer? Sound off below.