Scratch’s Anne Hubert Explores Millennial Influence at Talks@GS Session

Scratch's Anne Hubert onstage at Goldman Sachs' Talks@GS speaker series.

Scratch’s Anne Hubert onstage at Goldman Sachs’ Talks@GS speaker series.

Let’s just say it: Millennials get a bad rap. In the press and around the office, they’re often labeled entitled, lazy and spoiled. As consumers, they expect every retail experience to be painless and simple, and brands to welcome their input like never before. They’re telling us they can do anything (and that they deserve a promotion already). But the truth is: they kinda can – and they are.

Understanding them, figuring out what they’re about and where they’re going, isn’t about catering to a group of entitled youth. It’s about understanding the future for all of us and figuring out how we can thrive alongside them in it. That’s the message Anne Hubert, senior vice president at Viacom Media Networks and head of Scratch recently delivered when she joined Lindsay Drucker Mann, vice president in global investment research at Goldman Sachs to discuss the generation at Goldman Sachs’ Talks@GS speaker series. The conversation was moderated by Edith Cooper, Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs and included thousands of employees from the global investment firm.

The Millennial Generation is defined as those born between 1981 and 2000, and by the numbers, is the largest generation in history. According to Hubert, Millennials are unlike any generation before them:

“They’re having incredible influence – as consumers, with more than a trillion dollars in spending power…and they’re consuming differently. They’re influencing other generations, and themselves founding companies, joining new initiatives, they’re becoming entrepreneurs inside big old organizations and challenging us all to adapt and follow them into the future.”

Hubert points to Millennials’ propensity for collaboration, often referred to as the “sharing economy,” as one of the generation’s main differences as consumers. The success of Uber, AirBnb, Rent the Runway and other businesses that rely heavily on sharing underscores that principal.

“They’ve grown up in a world that has been flattened and democratized by the way technology is changing the rules for all of us,” says Hubert. “We see that come to life in the way they buy a car, to the way they rate an experience at a restaurant, to the way they book a hotel and wonder ‘why am I getting a room when I could rent an entire house?’”

“They’re challenging all of these assumptions,” says Hubert, “and rewarding the brands that welcome their input.”

See more of Anne Hubert and Lindsay Drucker Mann’s discussion below.


Full Interview:


Scratch Reveals Banking’s Increasing Irrelevance Among Millennials

by Chanel Cathey, Viacom


Viacom’s Scratch embarked on a three-year study, aptly titled the Millennial Disruption Index (MDI), to decode the industries most ripe for disruption at the hands of millennials . The results are in and it’s clear that the financial services industry is struggling to engage and inspire millennials – as consumers and as employees — foretelling what could be the beginning of significant change in this sector. Fast Company signaled this imminent disruption when it unveiled Scratch’s study in Sorry Banks, Millennials Hate You. In fact, millennials don’t hate banks; far worse, traditional banks are becoming irrelevant, as the largest generational cohort in history looks elsewhere to meet their needs.

Read More

Ross Martin on Fortune’s 40 Under 40

by Chanel Cathey, Viacom


Congratulations to our very own Ross Martin, EVP of Viacom’s creative swat team Scratch, who was named to FORTUNE’s annual 40 Under 40 list. Martin landed at number 17 among an impressive group of heavy hitters like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter and Square’s Jack Dorsey.  The popular issue is flying off newsstands this month especially when Mayer became the first woman ever to top the list.  

Read More

Is Chelsea Clinton a Millennial? Scratch Says She’s on the Cusp

by Daina Amorosano, Viacom

Former President Bill Clinton accompanied by his daughter Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Sept. 25, 2012. (Photo: David Karp/AP)

At 32, Chelsea Clinton’s already done a lot. She’s worked on Wall Street, campaigned around the country for her mom and, most recently, taken on a career in the news business. Clinton has solid plans for the next five years, too — not the least of which include helping to democratize the Clinton Global Initiative, continuing her work on the Clinton Foundation and finishing her dissertation, according to her recent Q&A with TIME. Of the things she’s less certain? Whether she’ll ultimately run for office, and, on a somewhat lighter note, what generation she technically belongs to. Read More

Ross Martin on How to Liberate the Rhyme and Meter of Business

by Daina Amorosano, Viacom

If you’ve ever sought to be understood in the rapidly evolving world of media or business or life more generally, Ross Martin’s TED talk “The Poetry of Misunderstanding,” is worth a watch.

At the helm of Scratch, Viacom’s in-house creative agency, Martin – who calls his degree in poetry “surprisingly great preparation” for his life as a media exec – has officiated a marriage between art and commerce. Throughout his presentation, he outlines what that union looks like and how we can use free verse to liberate the rhyme and meter of media and business. According to Martin, by embracing our messy, imperfect genius, letting go of our hopes of being understood, and welcoming creative interpretations, we can tap into “one of the great unheralded fountains of genius.” Read More

Viacom Joins Forces with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation as its Lead Media Partner

by David Katz, Viacom Corporate Responsibility

When Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, launched the Born This Way Foundation in February, no one was more excited than the team at Viacom.  We’ve adored and been inspired by Lady Gaga ever since her first live televised appearance on Logo in 2008.  We’ve aired some of her most iconic performances on MTV around the world.  We’ve celebrated her creativity and compassion on Nickelodeon, BET and VH1 alike.

But, more than anything, we were excited because we deeply share the Born This Way Foundation’s mission of youth empowerment.  It’s a fundamental goal of so many of our brands and their social impact campaigns, from Viacom’s Get Schooled to MTV’s A Thin Line to Nickelodeon’s Let’s Just Play and beyond.

Naturally, we had to figure out how we could help.

Today we’re proud to announce that Viacom is the lead media partner of the Born This Way Foundation.  Through our partnership, we’ll put our people, programming and platforms to work for Born This Way. Together, we’ll strive to advance the Foundation’s goals: to provide young people with a safe community to celebrate their individuality, the skills to advocate for themselves and others, and the opportunity to make an impact on their local communities.

“Viacom and its brands recognize the power of individuality and reflect the bravery of young people,” said Cynthia Germanotta. “We’re excited to collaborate with Viacom on creative ways to let young people know that they hold the power to build a kinder, more compassionate world.”

“Our brands are built to amplify our audiences, and empower them to embrace diversity, be the change, and shape culture in a positive way,” said Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom. “Viacom is proud to stand with Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation, and lend our global megaphone for young people to speak out in support of acceptance, tolerance and respect.”

Scratch, Viacom’s creative and strategic SWAT team, will take the lead in rousing the resources of our brands – including MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and more – and collaborating with Born This Way Foundation on events, programming and other activations.

It’s just the beginning, but we’re excited to get started.  Stay tuned for more great work to come, and be sure to visit the Born This Way Foundation website for more information on how you can join the movement to build a braver, kinder world.

David Katz is Vice President of Corporate Responsiblity for Viacom. 

For news and info on Viacom’s community-based and social impact efforts, follow @Viacommunity.

Ross Martin Reps Scratch @ Media Summit

by Daina Amorosano, Viacom

Ross Martin heads Scratch, Viacom's in-house creative SWAT team.

The description for the 2012 Media Summit’s “Branded Media Marketing Across Platforms” panel didn’t whitewash its tricky subject matter. Truth be told, it’s daunting for clients, agencies and content creators to elevate their messages above the din of our content- and device-saturated world.

But the takeaway from the discussion was fresh and overwhelmingly optimistic.

Ross Martin, head of our in-house creative SWAT team Scratch – which channels our creative talent, consumer insights, and connection to Millennials to drive brands – participated in the panel and weighed in on this increasingly complex environment.

According to Martin, the challenge of breaking through the clutter in today’s marketplace actually makes this a fantastic time to be a content creator – as long as marketers get how creativity must drive business, and that art and commerce have converged.

“We really can’t let corporate inertia separate the creative from the business,” he said. “The most successful companies have figured that out.” Read More