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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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