Group Dating: The More the Merrier

Hook-up culture among young adults has been getting a lot of (potentially overblown) hype lately, and though some say the digital age has brought about the “death of courtship,” a new movement is beginning to define Millennial date nights. New apps and platforms are using Millennials’ fast paced lives to their advantage, providing instantaneous events and ideas that get them away from trolling online profiles and instead connecting IRL, and some young daters are turning to new services that are ushering users out the door to find their next connection, friend, hook-up, soul mate, or otherwise—with their friends in tow.
 
Group dating is on the rise, with a growing number of services, apps and sites being created to take the awkwardness out of a one-on-one night with a stranger. The trend only makes sense for the group-oriented generation; who view their friends as their safety net and thrive in using the digital world as a tool to foster offline connections. Group dating takes friend connections to a new level by increasing the possibilities for a match and erasing the fear many young people have about blind dates. Some older dating sites like Match.com have been experimenting with offline group “non-dates” to bring users from behind their screens. But services focused on organizing group-dates are catching the attention of more and more single Millennials who are looking for easy, comfortable ways to meet up, and are bypassing the trappings  and troubles of online dating. 

 

Grouper
Ever wished you could bring a wingman on a date? Grouper, a group date site and app that seems to be leading the group date movement, lets you bring two. You are matched with another group of three friends, putting the odds ever in your favor by providing three viable romantic choices at once.…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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