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Winning over the millennials

Report
5 min
03/12/2018

GENERATION

Hyperconnected, hard-to-please, infatuated with anything new... there are plenty of ways to describe the young people aged 15 to 24 commonly called “millennials.” TF1 is well aware that brands are targeting these future consumers, so to drive its own growth in this digital market, the TF1 group has created Studio71.
By Laura Franchet

Studio71 moved into its quarters on Quai de Jemmapes, along a canal in a trendy northeastern Paris neighborhood, in summer 2017. It has the feel of a startup. Monsieur Madame toy figurines, Star Wars and Super Mario posters, video game consoles, from vintage to cutting edge: everything is designed to “create an atmosphere in which the staff and the talents can work well together,” says Andréa Gassio, a video project manager at Studio71. These talents, also known as “influencers,” produce videos for young people and together attract millions of subscribers to their YouTube channels.

“Studio71 France was launched in September 2017 in a pan-European partnership with the German group ProsiebenSat1, and it now has over 20 employees,” says Nicolas Capuron, CEO of Studio71 and executive vice president, New Digital Services, at TF1.

The company has a portfolio of more than 120 YouTubers whose projects are tracked in order to spot ones that TF1 can turn into digital programming for brands.

STRATEGY FOR DIGITAL NATIVES

“Millennials grew up with the high speed of the Internet. They have a relationship to time that is very different from that of other generations, and they are constantly bombarded with advertising,” points out Sylvia Tassan Toffola, deputy CEO of the advertising space sales agency TF1 Publicité. TF1 is responding to this new reality by working with brands that want to break with their traditional communications practices and develop social media strategies to reach young people.

On March 23, TF1 Publicité and Studio71 received top prize in the “Social Media and Influence” category in the 2018 Grand Prix Stratégies du Digital, sponsored by the magazine Stratégies. They won the award for the campaign they created for the insurance company MMA by teaming up with the YouTuber Studio Danielle, a 63-year-old woman known for her blunt manner. Studio71 set up a website, coachdanielle.fr, where visitors could make their own, personalized safety videos to send to friends before they got behind the wheel. The campaign proved especially effective for the brand because it asked for the active involvement of the people coming to the site.

TF1 has also pursued digital diversification through several acquisitions, including aufeminin.com, a site with content for women, and MinuteBuzz, which creates new editorial formats for Facebook. “Through the activities of these subsidiaries, we are pursuing the ambition of our chairman and CEO, Gilles Pélisson, which is to bring about a digital transformation of the TF1 group,” says Capuron.

Nicolas Capuron
executive vice president, New Digital Services, at TF1 and CEO of Studio71
“By developing Studio71 and MinuteBuzz, we are pursuing TF1’s digital transformation objectives.”

FREE REIN TO INFLUENCERS

The main studio at Studio71 is cozily decorated and furnished with several sofas. It is used to film videos and broadcast live shows on Facebook, and Manu, Ugo, and Choopa know it well. The three friends met at university in 2005 and ten years later created Lolywood, a collective with 2.2 million YouTube subscribers.

In 2017, they signed a deal making TF1 and Studio71 their business partners. “When Studio71 proposed doing something with us, we thought about how we wanted to respond. The TF1 group trusted us completely when it came to writing the content. And they gave us a lot of freedom.”, relates Ugo.

Lolywood’s creed is humor. “Our videos are inspired by the crazy stuff that goes on among friends. We do funny takes on what happens each day,”, says Manu. Family, friends, school – Lolywood mines them all for material to amuse its audience of millennials.

In September 2017, they launched L’Antisèche, a channel that offers tips to high school students who are taking exams for a diploma. “We adapt to the authors, since they know the kind of language that will speak to young people.”, comments Nicolas Capuron.

A CONSTANT RENEWAL FOR THE AUDIENCE

YouTube remains the leading platform for influencers who create content for millennials, but new media like Instagram, Snapchat, and Musical.ly, an app for creating short, live karaoke videos, are gaining in popularity. Millennials are keen on anything new, but also very demanding. “The challenge for us is to come up with new ideas and supply quality content,” says Andréa Gassio.

To reach the 15-to-24-year-olds, the next territo- ry to explore is eSport, where video games are played on live streaming platforms * . To get into this new busi- ness, TF1 Publicité has already teamed up with Twich, the world’s leading eS- port streaming site. TF1 is on its way to scoring another goal.

* streaming : the broadcast of videos continuously in real time.

MILLENNIALS ARE :

Connected
75%
go on social media every day
Mobile users
82%
have a smartphone
Players
65%
have played a video game online during the last month
TV viewers
2/3
watch television or listen to the radio every day
MyTF1 fans
71%
already have an account
Sources : Ipsos study published in 2016 – Génération 15-24 ans; Mediamétrie – Année Internet 2017; Médiamétrie study published in 2017 – Media in life 2016.

3 questions to Sylvia Tassan Toffola

“Studying millennials puts us a step ahead”
Sylvia Tassan Toffola
Deputy CEO of the advertising space sales agency TF1 Publicité
Why has TF1 Publicité strengthened its strategy for reaching millennials?

Today, we are working on new ways to drive growth because advertising markets are reaching maturity. There are 6.5 million young people in France. They will form the households of the future. They are interested in things like organic lifestyles, diversity, and social engagement. Studying millennials puts us a step ahead with regard to future trends.

How can digital campaigns create synergies with television?

Nowadays, a program is an ecosystem that is broadcast on several platforms. Our aim is to develop all the contact points between the TV viewer and the broadcast. We therefore sell 360° advertising campaigns that include both television and digital media.

How does the collaboration with Studio71 and MinuteBuzz work?

TF1 Publicité acts as a mentor to these structures. A work list is drawn up for them each week, but they retain their autonomy and continue working in their own ways. To be receptive to advertising messages, millennials want to hear them from people who are like them.

Studio71 quarters, in Paris
Studio71 France works with a panel of YouTubers, each of whom is followed by 200,000 to 2 million subscribers.