Space: The New Millennial Frontier

Hints of Millennials’ fascination with space began a few years ago when galaxy prints started appearing on young tastemakers, and they haven’t gone away since. Amateur “astronauts” began to launch everything from iPhones to Legos into the stratosphere to record a moment in space.  Now, clips of NASA giving lessons on what it’s like to be in orbit are popping up regularly on blogs; and Netflix has made every season of Star Trek available for streaming. Millennials' interest in all things space has solidified.

Today, Ypulse staffer Phil Salvarese takes us through the brands and projects that are making the concept of civilian space travel a reality, and why young consumers are fascinated by the idea.

To Infinity and Beyond!

Well, the Toy Story catch phrase may not be too far from becoming reality. Advances in technology have led to a number of private space programs that are seeking to take customers on a experience that is, literally, out of this world. According to Ypulse’s research, 38% of Millennials ages 14-29 say trying as many new and exciting things as possible is very important to them. Traveling to space certainly falls into that category. Millennials don’t just want to witness history; they want to be a part of it. Having been born well after the moon landing, seeing a bunch of astronauts launch into space may not be a big deal to them, but having the opportunity to go themselves is fascinating. Obviously, most Millennials will never experience these programs, but there is a current fascination with the possibility of civilians in space. Here are a few programs that are pioneering the human leap into the great abyss that are sparking interest among Millennials:

1) AXE Apollo Space Academy

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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