A generation raised on absurdist humor is eating up entertainment and marketing that isn't afraid to get weird. To capture their attention these days it seems the more random and bizarre, the better.
They’re a generation of consumers raised on the absurdist humor of Ren and Stimpy, Rocco’s Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and even Spongebob—and they haven’t grown out of it. As we covered in our most recent trend report, Things Are Getting Weird. While overtly sexy images in marketing make them yawn, entertainment and ads that get a little weird, ok, or a lot weird, are getting their attention. Brands are tapping into their appetite for the off-the-wall and out-of-the-box, running campaigns that celebrate the strange and put a spotlight on the nonsensical. Right now, the weirder the content, the more likely it will get young consumers’ attention. It seems the further from the norm and the less sense it makes the better.
How did we get here? The majority of Millennials and teens watched at least one show as children than featured some majorly surrealist humor. These shows celebrated the ridiculous and paid no attention to traditional children’s entertainment norms. Forty percent watched Family Guy growing up, a show that plays with non-linear storytelling, random cutaways, and stretching the absurd as far as it will reach. They are approaching adult entertainment with these expectations baked into them. These young consumers are not just marketing savvy, they’ve seen it all. Sex sells might still be a mantra, but it doesn’t actually capture their attention. Right now, surreal, insane, nonsensical content is one category that still takes them by surprise and makes them talk.
We've seen hints of this weirdness appeal for some time. Old Spice captured Millennials again by…