Celebrity Appearance Interview Youth Culture

A few frothies with: Red Bull’s International Culture Manager

By Posted 30 June 2016

Tom Sigelski is the International Culture Marketing Manager for Red Bull, a dead set legend and also a good friend. If anyone is the right guy to ask about global culture shifts, it’s this guy. It also helps that Tom is always keen to blow the top off a few schooies. So I invited him down the local and after a couple of pints I asked him the hard questions.

the big question: what, currently, is the biggest shift in youth culture worldwide?

Engagement, engagement, engagement! The way that youth communicate and interact with people and business has changed considerably and will continue to do so. For a while there it was all about sharing. But now, public posting of status, location or emotion is looked at negatively by millennials. Almost with disdain. The rise of Snapchat, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger is representative of the larger interest in more guarded methods of sharing information.

Oh and the age of the ‘selfie’ is also dead in the water, now it’s all about #squadgoals.

Snapchat is the platform that everyone is talking about right now.

so where am i supposed to share my life now? what platform do think will have the biggest impacts in reaching millennials over the next three years?

Snapchat is the platform that everyone is talking about right now. It’s been rising and rising over the past year or so, from a seemingly simple pic sharing app to a fantastic way to express yourself with its enhanced functionality. The platform is still holding many ‘potential’ cards, it will be down to what the business directors do with it and how quickly they can adapt to the ever changing needs of consumers.

i just want the ability to replay videos more than once! on that note about adapting to consumers who do you think nails communicating to millennials?

Hmmm, I think it depends on what message you want to send, different strokes for different times. I can’t think of a brand that nails it every single time. Perhaps a key observation that I keep coming back to is that most content posted these days is what people are watching. Or, on that note, people asking for advice on what they should watch next.

Platforms like Netflix tap into this conversation, shaping their communications and programming to mirror the expectations and desires of its audience. I’d say this social listening is more effective, and more bang on, then some of the brands out there trying to define the conversation themselves.

Engagement is the biggest shift in Youth Culture worldwide.

i’ll admit i watch far too many documentaries on netflix. so glad it finally made it to australia. speaking of – what other brands do you think are the biggest influencers in asia-pacific?

What excites me in this space is the unknown, anything can come from a Kickstarter campaign or a viral video and grab loads of attention and loyalty. There are the obvious players with very deep pockets that are hard to ignore: Apple + Apple Music, for example. Brands that support healthy lifestyle and enable youth also have a huge opportunity to influence through involvement. If these brands are able to engage communities so that they feel they are doing good for themselves and the bigger, like-minded society, look out!!

APAC can feel pretty small sometimes when you compare it to the likes of europe and the USA. in the past we’ve heard people say that these regions are years ahead of APAC in regards to culture and style. do you think this gap still exists? do you believe it ever existed?

Big question champ! I think there was never a gap, maybe a time lag, but never a gap. In the past it just took influencers longer to share what they were exposed to. Do Europe, USA and Australia speak the same language when it comes to popular Culture? I would say no, nor do they embrace things at the same time, but trends take hold eventually. Where I see zero gap is music, this is always right now, with streaming services being as popular as they are everyone can listen to what’s hot around the globe at any time.

alright, one final curveball before we get another round. if you had to pick one activation as your all-time favourite, what would it be and why?

Wow, another big one. If you had to pick your favourite song EVER Trav, what would it be? Brands that have harnessed the idea of having a conversation with consumers in a way that allows discussion, input from the consumer and is truly impactful on the brand is gold.

Thanks big ledge, you’re an absolute legend for blowin the froth off a couple with me… Suppose its my shout next hey? 

  • Steve Dart
    Posted at 14:10h, 21 July Reply

    Great interview Trav!

  • Anthony Scodellaro
    Posted at 22:39h, 21 July Reply

    Loved the write up and the good insights from Tom.
    Thanks for sharing Trav.

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