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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

Being featured in the (racy) lyrics of Beyoncé’s hit single “Formation” has caused Red Lobster’s sales to spike 33%. But a wave of frustration hit Twitter after the brand took too long to respond to the song, and failed to live up to expectations. One user advised,“Yo @redlobster, all you have to do is NOT f*** up. Just give the Twitter over to your highest ranking Black person under 33. Trust me.” But after eight hours Red Lobster tweeted an underwhelming: "Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it,don't you think? #Formation @Beyonce.” The indecent highlights what young consumers expect from brands on social media. (MediaPostBuzzFeed)

The newly funded Stash investment app is hoping to “break down the barriers that prevent nearly three quarters of Millennials from investing.” To appeal to the risk-averse generation, the app allows users to invest as little as $5, and describes investments in easy theme-like terms, like “Clean and Green.” For the founders it’s all about setting up users for the long-term: “By lowering the minimum level of investment, enabling Millennials to invest in broad themes that they care about, and guiding them along the path toward building smart lifelong investment habits, Stash has the potential to empower an entire generation to reach their financial goals.” (Business Wire)

Fit has gone glam for Millennials—and not just in the U.S. Young Chinese women are embracing working out, and shifting traditional beauty ideals. In a 2003 survey, 1,000 working females cited an ideal body to be "an almost-emaciated, willowy physique," but social media and celebrity influence, as well as more awareness to physical health, are making strength the new goal. Women sharing their fitness journeys are becoming major influencers and creating new personal brands, and the fitness industry in China has grown 13% yearly since 2010. (Refinery29)

ESports—multi-player competitive video gaming—is expected to generate $463 million in ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorships, and advertising for 2016, and networks want a piece of the action. But can it translate to TV? TBS is premiering E-League, a 10-week eSports competition series that will stand as a true test on whether the phenomenon can “find the right balance between achieving scale and retaining its core audience of digitally forward young men.” Critics have good reason to be skeptical: ESPN2’s airing of an eSports college competition perplexed viewers, frustrated broadcasters, and scored a 0.1 Nielsen rating. (Adweek

British director Anthony Wilcox’s new action-packed thriller,Shield 5, is captivating audiences—the Instagram audience that is. The series, which currently has 30,000 followers, is being called “social cinema,” and each episode is the length of an Instagram video: just 15-seconds. Wilcox’s love for fast-turnaround projects and very low budget is what ultimately inspired him to choose the platform. There was also the potential to go viral: "If you’ve got the opportunity to show your work to a much, much bigger audience…all around the world, it might be worth trying it." (Fast Company

Quote of the Day: “I share my selfies by making it my profile picture.” —Female, 23, IL

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