Lena Dunham Re-shapes the Meaning of Mainstream

Today's post comes from Ypulse General Manager Jake Katz.

Lena Dunham Re-shapes the Meaning of Mainstream

GirlsIn 2010, The New York Times published an article called “What Is It About 20-Somethings?” This identification of the “emerging adulthood” Millennial phenomenon serves as the creative seed from which HBO’s “Girls” has grown.

“Girls” has sparked as much discussion in the marketing/media community as it has among its viewers. Thematically, the show brings to life many Millennial concepts. In particular, the growing complexities of dating (it’s no coincidence an article titled "The End of Courtship?" ran the same week as “Girls’” premiere). Additionally, the show’s exploration of navigating one’s post-college path to success mirrors much of what our research here at Ypulse shows about how Millennials are realizing their dreams in a post-recession economy.

While much of the discussion around the show has been quick to point out its misses (a lack of diversity in the cast, arguably skin deep analyses of life from Dunham), stepping back and examining it from a few levels higher brings up a more important discussion. The media industry should quickly be decoding what it means for our perceptions, visions, and assumptions of “mainstream America”, that a show set in the most notoriously niche and infamously marketing trapdoor of Williamsburg is as relatable to 20-somethings as the more obvious “The Carrie Diaries.”

The elephant in the room has now been recognized. For every big brand that has learned to assess new ideas, talent, trends, and marketing through a lens of mainstream versus leading edge, could this be the moment we realize the gap between leading edge and mainstream has nearly dissolved? Maybe.

Let’s think about this for a moment. We know this generation of youth…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because everyone will have those and I don't like having what everyone else has.” –Female, 27, FL

The future of the on-demand economy is shaping up, and soon anything you might need or want, from toothpaste to kittens, could be delivered to you in a snap. Grocery delivery app Instacart tapped into this “I want it now” mentality for some smart Halloween marketing: Seattle residents can use the app to order last-minute costumes that arrive in one hour. The startup conceived the campaign after receiving costume requests from many of their customers, and the service will be active until 8pm tonight. (Instacart)

Last week, we wrote that brands could learn some marketing tricks from Taylor Swift, and her social media skills continue to impress. Vulture has a break down of why Swift is the “reigning queen of celebrity social media,” where she acts like her fans’ best friend, interacts with them personally, and uses each platform the way they do. On Monday, she used Twitter to put those fans in the spotlight, reposting pictures of them posing with her new album on her own feed with the hashtag #taylurking, a reference to the fact that she was lurking on her followers’ profiles. (Vulture)

Older Millennials grew up with the internet, which means they remember its humble design beginnings, and how social media got its start—after all, they were at the center of it. The internet has come a long way in a relatively short time, but there is a growing nostalgia for Web 1.0, the good old days when “everything was smaller,” “close-knit,” and “DIY.” This nostalgia is fueling the design of some of the newest apps and networks, which emphasize intimacy, self-expression, and minimalism. (Gizmodo)

Young consumers have a different set of retail experience expectations, and while many till prefer in-store, there is no doubt that mobile and online are a very big part of their shopping behavior. So what are their digital retail tastes and habits? 55% use multiple devices to shop, and 71% of females do their online shopping at home versus the 77% of males who do it on-the-go. Their biggest frustrations include slow load times, slow checkout, lack of interactive features, and small/fuzzy images. Those images are important—55% overall, and 72% of females, say they “couldn’t live without pictures when shopping on mobile devices.” (Inc.)

Richie Rich is being rebooted for a new generation. A live-action Richie Rich show from AwesomenessTV is coming to Netflix in 2015. The story of the self-made child millionaire was first a comic book in the 1950s, then reinvented for ‘90s kids in the movie starring Macaulay Caulkin. In this modernized iteration, Richie is a trillionaire who earned his bucks inventing and selling green technology. (KidscreenMashable)

You've got questions, we've got answers. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article on Ypulse.com, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. Whether they want to dig more deeply into a topic or better understand the implications for their brands, we're there to help. (Ypulse)

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