NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 15, 2011) - New York-based social media agency Mr Youth today released the findings of a new research study, Class of 2015, that examines the next generation of youth, specifically this year's incoming college freshman. The purpose of the study was to uncover insights for brands that are seeking to build a connection with this new consumer. Through national surveys and focus groups, the study looked at how this generation uses social media to stay connected, how they use technology to get social, and what they expect from brands.

"We know the Class of 2015 is active online, using many different technologies and forms of social media," said Matt Britton, Founder and CEO of Mr Youth. "Our research focused on looking behind the scenes to uncover what purpose each channel serves in their lives and determining what drives their brand engagement decisions."

Through a mix of both quantitative research (nationwide polls and discussions) and qualitative insights gathered through user-generated video and focus groups, Mr Youth distilled the findings into five distinct areas for brands to consider as they seek to understand and reach this generation, i.e. Five Ways to Friend the Class of 2015:

  • Help them express their personal brands
    They know their social presence carries influence. 91% make their Facebook Places and Foursquare check-ins public while 66% would look up a store after learning their friend had checked in. Enhance their personal brand and they will reward you socially.

  • Integrate organically into their world
    Becoming an organic part of their world requires knowing what's hot and what's not. What is hot with today's teens? 89% own a laptop, 67% access Facebook from their phone, 75% send over 20 text messages per day, 75% upload photos via mobile, 58% use Twitter "all the time." What's not? Only 5% plan on buying a PC, 1% uses Gowalla, 12% use Foursquare, and only 13% of freshmen plan on getting a cable TV package.

  • Get in good with their friends
    The definition of friend has changed. 50% have over 300 friends on Facebook, yet 73% only consider someone a "friend" if they have hung out in-person. Understanding the pathway to creating meaningful bonds with them requires knowing how to navigate social channels effectively.

  • Become an on-demand brand
    They communicate non-stop across many devices. 80% use two or more devices simultaneously while watching TV. Keeping them loyal requires brands to always keep something new on the horizon, since 65% report researching the next model for their current product immediately after making a purchase.

  • Get to know them and don't assume
    While Millennials cared about how expensive something was, the status it provided, the celebrity it was tied to and overall "bling factor," the Class of 2015's preferences are based on a different set of values.

"The Class of 2015 is profoundly different from other generations in some ways, and similar in others," said Britton. "Knowing how to connect with this age group requires brands to know the difference."

To view the full report and video, please visit

The study was conducted in three phases during the spring of 2011, and consisted of both quantitative and qualitative elements:

  • Nationwide survey: The study began with a series of nationwide polls via Crowdtap, a Mr Youth-incubated start-up that allows brands to reach consumers nationwide. The survey reached 5,000 incoming freshmen.
  • Focus groups: In coordination with research partner Real Pio, Mr Youth recruited a diverse selection of incoming college students from across the East Coast to participate in focus groups at the Mr Youth office in New York.
  • User-generated video: All of the teens from the focus groups received video cameras, which they used to document their lives. The resulting footage was compiled into an in-depth insights video.

New York-based Mr Youth is a social media agency that was founded in 2002 as the antidote to traditional media burnout. Since then, Mr Youth has worked with some of the world's leading brands -- including MSN, P&G, Ford and HP -- to help them connect with the rapidly evolving consumer by developing strategies and campaigns centered around word of mouth, social interactive and experiential marketing. Mr Youth is dedicated to building a legacy of innovation and best-in-class proprietary platforms like RepNation and Crowdtap. RepNation, the leading word of mouth network of 125,000+ savvy consumers, provides marketers a direct channel to conceive ideas, market with, and gain insights from their own consumers. Crowdtap, an on-demand network for participation, enables marketers to easily tap insightful and influential crowds of people to involve consumers at all points of the marketing lifecycle.

Mr Youth was recently ranked 7th among Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies in Advertising and Marketing." Crain's New York Business named Mr Youth one of its "Best Places to Work 2010," and in 2009 Mr Youth was awarded "Social Media Agency of the Year" by Mashable's Open Web Awards. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

Kristen Bryan
DiGennaro Communications