What’s The Next…

What’s the next Harry Potter? What’s the next True Blood? What's the next Hunger Games? As soon as the light of the latest entertainment franchise fades (and sometimes well before it does) we start to hear “what’s the next” questions. With so much of major pop culture coming out of youth culture and YA literature, we try to keep our finger on the pulse of the next big things to watch. When it comes to brands taking advantage of the next big entertainment craze, one of the keys is to be aware and be ready early. With that in mind, we’re giving you a rundown of the entertainment properties that are already gaining buzz and could be future major hits.
 

 

 


Could be the next Life of Pi


The Giver
This YA novel by Lois Lowry came out in 1994 but is considered a modern classic by many, and has been trapped in pre-production purgatory—until now. Oscar winner Jeff Bridges has been trying to make the book into a feature for years, and will produce and star as the original Giver in the film, which could begin filming late this summer. Brenton Twaites, a young Australian actor who is currently not well known in the states has been cast as the main character, Jonas. (He will also be starring in next year’s Sleeping Beauty adaptation Maleficent, and is definitely a young actor to watch.) Though The Giver is dystopian and dark, the movie won’t likely be as action-packed as Hunger Games, as much of the action takes place in the main character’s head as he lives through memories. Like Life of Pi it’s a one-off book about a male protagonist dealing with some heady and dangerous issues, and has the potential to be both beautiful to watch and heart-wrenching.

Why it could (probably will) be big: Millennials from ages 32 to 12 have all likely read The Giver, and it doesn’t take much…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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