The Serious Faux Pas: Celebrities

This week, we’re delving into a cultural shift we’re calling The Serious Faux Pas: the tendency of Millennials to reject those who aren’t able, or willing, to make their flaws a part of their public persona; the modern misstep of celebrities, athletes, and brands who take themselves too seriously; and how idolizing perfect icons has become a thing of the past.

Because Millennials have grown up in the age of tabloid culture and the 24-hour news cycle, they are a generation with a heightened awareness of flaws, moments of weakness, and the fact that any public figure potentially has a scandal looming around the corner. They have begun rejecting any attempted “public displays of perfection” as inauthentic. Those individuals who take themselves too seriously, carefully guarding their “realness” behind a mask of flawlessness, may be doomed to be mocked and un-liked, while Millennials embrace self-effacing and imperfect personalities.

Perhaps the clearest example of the rejection of serious can be seen in current celebrity culture, where actresses, actors and musicians are no longer idolized for being faultless, but instead looked down on if they appear too calculated or unable to exude a “down-to-earth” personality. In this category, taking yourself too seriously comes in the form of not allowing the world to see you off-balance and spontaneously imperfect.

This year, a takedown of too-earnest actress Anne Hathaway has played out online in contrast to the complete adoration of self-effacing Jennifer Lawrence. In February, NYMag published an article entitled “Why Do Women Hate Anne Hathaway (But Love Jennifer Lawrence),” citing Lawrence’s frequent mentions of taking shots, eating junk food, and wearing Spanx on the red carpet as part of her appeal. Hathaway on the other hand, was said…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I thought that this past Cyber Monday, ThinkGeek had the best deals.” –Male, 26, IN
The true impact of mobile devices on young minds has not been fully determined, and public belief seems to be split on the influence of technology on kids and family. A new global survey found that, 53% agree that “digital technology and the internet are ruining childhood." However, the degree to which individuals believe this varies significantly by country: while 70% of respondents in India agreed, 75% of those in Japan disagreed with the same statement. At the same time, 52% around the world felt that growing up without access to tech puts children at a disadvantage. (PRNewser)
In Ypulse’s 2015 Prediction Roundup, we told you smart tech was poised to take over our worlds, and according to several creative industry leaders, this could be one of the biggest challenges to brands this year. A round up of expert opinions on what will impact marketing in 2015 also includes the importance of merging digital and experiential marketing that “has the ability to be documented socially,” a continued obsession with celebrities and micro-celebs, and virtual reality (see Vice’s VR Millions March below). The need for brands to be more honest, empathetic, and to take a social stance is a major theme as well. (Fast Company)
Vice News, a Millennial dominated channel, is continuing their untraditional coverage style by introducing virtual reality to their audience. Vice demonstrated what the future of reporting might look like with their virtual reality coverage of the New York Millions March this past December. With Vice’s correspondent Alice Speri navigating the experience for the viewer, the use of a 360-degree camera system immerses viewers right in the action of the event. The Vice VR Millions March report is available to view through the app VRSE, and supports Google Cardboard, a cheap and easy way to watch VR. VR is still fairly new on the scene, but is a ripe opportunity for innovative and compelling storytelling. (TechCrunch)
Young consumers are leading a travel revolution, and it can be difficult for established brands to compete with the comfort, convenience, and authenticity an affordable home-rental Airbnb provides. In an attempt to win back Millennial guests, Marriot is launching Moxy, a microhotel chain that is redefining budget hotels by emphasizing self-service, style, and social. The hotels boast in-house bars, free Wi-Fi, fresh coffee, and rooms designed with Millennials in mind: simple, small, cheaper, and inspired by boutique aesthetics. Outside of the Moxy chain, Marriot is experimenting with other Millennial-friendly features, including TVs that allow guests to stream from their own Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora accounts. (The Washington Post)
“Millennials are projected to become the largest segment of the luxury consumer market by 2018-2020,” so understanding how they view luxury is increasingly important. As Ypulse explored in 2014, Millennials are redefining the luxury market to fit their needs. Luxury now can mean rarity, convenience, or an uncommon event, all separate from that age-old notion of pretense. This generation is more interested in showing off who they are than how much they make, the brand on the labels matter less than the story behind the product, and they’re focusing on purity, authenticity, and sustainability. At the same time, these young spenders are “showing a preference for discovering luxuries in a manner that is far more casual, experimental, and fun.” (Campaign)
Every other week we tap into our panel of 150,000+ Millennials in a survey of 1,000 13-32-year-olds for their take on current events, trending topics, changing attitudes, and new norms. The question library in the My Library tab on Ypulse.com allows Silver and Gold subscribers to see what we’ve asked and how we’ve asked it for every survey we've done, giving them a better understanding of how we talk to Millennials and an accessible data bank of all of the Millennial statistics available to them. (Ypulse)

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