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

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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