As we learned from our Q&A with Content Strategist Nick Shore, the key to Millennial content is tearing down the fourth wall by inviting them into the action and getting to know what they want to see. The arbiters of next generation content have been popping up from sometimes unlikely sources, and the new players in content creation are taking the Millennial mindset and infusing it into their media, from online shorts to TV series. Here are some of the new players in Millennial content creation:
THE BRANDS TAKING RISKS:
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is making the move from online editorial to TV with a series on the Millennial network Pivot called Dark Rye. The show will follow artisanal storylines much like the original online magazine of the same name, and maintain the natural and Millennial (some would say hipster-esque) attitude of the brand. The first episode was hosted by a “fisherman and forager” from San Francisco, and subsequent features will include artists, sustainable food and living, nature explorations, and beyond. This generation enjoys the unique and undiscovered, so joining Whole Foods off the beaten path could be a welcome respite from comedy and reality TV.
Who knew that a Mexican grill could produce an online series as good as its burrito? Chipotle is, however, more than just a Mexican grill, having created beautiful, environmentally mindful campaigns like Scarecrow, the digital short and video game that shed light on fast food corporate America. Taking the next step, Chipotle’s new series Farmed and Dangerous will debut on Hulu in four 30-minute episodes and play as a satire of the industrial farming industry. The show will bring smart, witty content to young viewers, no matter their fast food or sustainable tendencies, but since Millennials do care about the environment, there is an even greater chance for influencing a larger cultural movement.
THE VIRAL STAR VEHICLES:
We first featured AwesomenessTV in our Q&A with the stars of Side Effects, one of the first pieces of long-form content to find overwhelming teen engagement on YouTube. Following the success of this creative risk, AwesomenessTV tapped up-and-coming personalities JennXPenn (Jenn McAllister) and Andrea Russett for a new Millennial reality series, The Jenn and Andrea Show, to air exclusively on the digital network’s channel. The show follows their adventures upon moving in together in Los Angeles, the city where YouTube stars are born, and lets fans live vicariously through them as they navigate the adult world. Both Jenn and Andrea have significant followings already, 690,000 and 296,000 subscribers, respectively, and bring with them the witty, upbeat, relatable charm that attracts teen viewers.
This new media platform passes the torch to Millennials to create content that is relevant to their generation. Personalizing each aspect of social media, Astronauts Wanted reaches fans where they are (online and on apps) and uses participatory programming to give them the content they desire. The internet famous and up-and-comers are featured in branded Vines and Instagram series, or as they say on Tumblr “spotting accidental geniuses, 100% fresh talent and inexperienced astronauts from every platform and planet.” Their latest project is a crowd-sourced music video, created with Vine clips submitted by ten famous Viners and incorporating fans and subscribers of Astronauts Wanted.
THE ONLINE TO OFFLINE MOVER:
CollegeHumor is not new to the content game—they were actually founded in 1999 (before YouTube existed) and have helped to lay the groundwork for Millennial sketch comedy in the digital world. About five years ago, CollegeHumor tried its hand at TV with The CollegeHumor Show on MTV, but didn’t focus its content enough to last on the network. Back at it again, the Millennial focused media company has merged with big names in digital production in order to widen its reach. CollegeHumor has its sights set on branded content, while the popular web series Jake and Amir is currently being reworked to debut as a sitcom about two crazy best buds on TBS. If the successful transition from web series to sitcom for the females of Broad City on Comedy Central is any indication, Jake and Amir will find its viewers offline as well.