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Need Research on Generation Y? There’s a Film for That

NBCUNIVERSAL is forming a unit called Curve Films, but there is no intention for it to compete with siblings at the company like Universal Pictures or Universal Television.

April 18, 2012 – Unlike those units, whose output is meant for millions of moviegoers and video viewers, Curve Films has a far more defined target audience: Madison Avenue.

The Curve is the brainchild of the NBCUniversal Integrated Media group, which helps sales executives at NBCUniversal peddle commercial time and ad space on their myriad broadcast, cable, and online properties that extend from Bravo and iVillage to NBC and The Weather Channel.

The goal of Curve Films—the name is supposed to evoke the phrase “Ahead of the curve”—is to find new, more interesting ways to deliver materials like research data to advertising and media agencies and marketers. So rather than publish a white paper on trends in consumer culture, Curve Films produced a handsome, 108-page book, titled The Curve, that would not look out of place on an office coffee table.

And rather than release a report on the estimated 76 million millennials in the United States—also known as Generation Y, and roughly defined as young adults born in 1980 or later—NBCUniversal Integrated Media plans on Monday to begin distributing a film called Y Now.

The film uses cinematic storytelling techniques to convey information about how Americans ages 18 to 34 behave, what they believe, and how they differ significantly from people who were those ages in previous decades. Shot in a documentary vein, the film offers viewers interviews with nine millennials in New York and Texas.

Each represents a life stage or lifestyle like “the boomerang kid,” a 26-year-old man who has moved back in with his parents; “the creative moonlighter,” a man, age 24, who competes in poetry slams and works a day job in a restaurant; “the wanderlust,” a 23-year-old woman who travels and changes addresses continually; and “the stay-at-home dad,” 35, who takes care of his daughter while his wife works.

The film, which runs 22 minutes, will be divided into five shorter segments—five easy pieces, if you will—that are to be sent by e-mail to 1,000 employees at agencies around the country. The segments can be watched by clicking on links in the e-mails, which will go out from Monday through April 27.

To read full article on The New York Times, click here.

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