Are Gen Y Women Poised To Take Over Comedy?

Kaling and DeschanelThis Sunday, Rebel Wilson hosted the 21st MTV Movie Awards, becoming the first female host since 2007 when Jessica Alba took on the task.  During the course of the night, she also won “Best Breakthrough Performance” and “Best Musical Moment” awards for her role as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. With a slew of movie roles in the last three years, and rumors of a television show being built around her in her future, Wilson could very well serve as a symbol of a larger shift happening in comedy: the takeover of the Millennial female. 

Looking at the past generation, male Xer comedians like Adam Sandler and Will Farrell, who often were born out of the SNL family, would carry huge franchises and movies with huge fan followings. It seems that Gen Y is not following that pattern. Vulture is wondering where our next male comic superstars are, but they might just be looking at the wrong gender. Instead of male comic headliners, we have a rush of Millennial female helmed comedies like New Girl, Girls, 2 Broke Girls, and The Mindy Project taking over the airwaves. Many of the Gen Y female stars in these shows are also writers or producers of their content, setting the stage for Gen Y female comedians to become the major Hollywood power players of their generation.

A quick rundown of recent TV comedies provides evidence that Gen Y female comedy stars are currently building their empires in Hollywood. Polarizing comedian Whitney Cummings had three different shows on the air in 2012, co-creating and executive producing 2 Broke Girls on CBS, creating, exec-producing and starring in Whitney on NBC, and also starring in her own talk show on E!. 2 Broke Girls, of course, stars two more Gen Y female comic actresses. Meanwhile, Zooey Deschanel doesn’t just star in (hugely Millennial popular) show New Girl

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

“I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because I prefer using my creativity to come up with an uncommon or personalized costume to wearing a mass-produced costume that won't be unique to me.” –Male, 24, CA

One entrepreneur has a big idea to change charity fundraising as we know it—and she’s only 10-years-old. Vivienne Harr started a lemonade stand for charity in 2012 that has turned into Make A Stand lemonade, a family company that donates 5% of each sale. Now, the Harrs are launching StandApp, a mobile platform for donating to and starting crowdfunded social good projects. Twitter’s founders have invested in the app, which tells users they can “make a stand and change the world in 3 steps and 30 seconds.” (Fast Company)

Vice media has established themselves as creators of online content that speaks to young consumers, and now they will launch a global, 24 hour TV network for their Millennial audience. The brand’s Vice News has gotten a reputation for tackling some of the biggest international stories before much more established news organizations, and CEO Shane Smith warned traditional media outlets that as the generation ages up, they will become obsolete, and sites like Vice and BuzzFeed are “the changing of the guard.” (The IndependentThe Drum)

Posting calories counts on menus isn’t necessarily making consumers choose healthier options, but a new study has found that if told what they would have to do to burn off those calories, teens are less likely to buy higher calorie or sugary drinks. When signs were posted in stores telling buyers things like, “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 5 miles of walking,” 40% of 12-18-year-olds who saw them said they changed their drink choice as a result. Even after the signs were removed these teens continued to make healthier choices. (Washington Post)

Italian clothing label Brandy Melville has reportedly become “one of the fastest growing popular brands among American teens,” but the company is not interested in selling to everyone: they sell most items only in size small. Abercrombie & Fitch has famously lost ground with young consumers thanks to their similarly exclusionary practices, and some teens are expressing their dissatisfaction on Melville’s Instagram, where they are asking for sizes that “fit all.” (Tech Times)

Many Millennials don’t trust banks (or any other large institutions) but it could be that financial organizations are missing a big opportunity with the generation. Adweek’s recent study found that 18-24-year-olds are more likely than other consumers to say they would trust a financial institution more if they provided helpful, unbiased content. But only 20% of respondents felt that these institutions are currently posting interesting articles. (Adweek)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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