The Doogie Howser Segment: Accelerated Development

Kids these days just aren’t growing up at the pace they use to. The rapid speed of which our culture is moving and the tools that we’ve been given are no doubt affecting and shifting our human behavior. The best way to understand a culture and the direction it’s moving in is to look at the tools a society uses in their everyday life. For example, when traveling to a foreign country, something as simple as turning on the TV in your hotel room will give a foreigner great intel into a culture. Even with a language barrier, visuals are a powerful indicator of what a culture is a reflection of. 

We can’t overlook technology as the main tool, of course. The convergence of social trends, democratization of access via technology, boomers refusing to grow old, 40 is the new 30, and Millennials surpassing everyone as the most brand literate and style conscious generation on earth while at the same time struggling with adolescent adulthood...the boundaries between the generations have shifted and overlapped, rendering everyone the same age. But where does that leave the kids of the world? How are they maturing, and at what pace? While older Millennials are experiencing a prolonged adolescence, it seems as though the younger set (and the next generation) is getting older faster.

Back in 2009, Nielson reported that children aged 2-11 comprised of nearly 16 million, or 9.5 percent, of the active online universe. That means that the growth of children online outpaces the overall growth of children in the entire U.S. A scary realization, and in 2013, I’m sure that number has freakishly grown. Growing up wired, with an all-access pass is just one of many examples driving the fast rate of growing up. Studies have also shown the rapid drop in age when it comes to hitting puberty. A recent study

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Forever 21 is my favorite store to shop in, the clothes are affordable and I can find every type that I might be looking for.” –Female, 27, NY

Netflix is entering the teenage world. Their latest programming plans include shows and movies for teens and tweens, including YouTube celeb vehicle Smosh: The Movie, in an effort to attract more young viewers, “known for their elusive and fickle tastes.” Netflix’s new focus on teens is a part of their goal to be a place for every kind of audience, and could help them gain more subscribers overall, as teens tend to influence their parents’ entertainment decisions. (NYTimesFortune)

“Millennials don’t even look at email.” It’s a rumor that’s been going around, but brands should know that evidence points to the contrary. Recent research shows that almost half of Millennials say their preferred way for companies and retailers to contact them is email. Social media is of course vital to their communication with peers, but “email has also been a constant in their lives,” and is the way they deal with more “practical” communications. (B2C)

Tapingo, an on-demand delivery service that is staffed entirely by students, has become a “household name” on some of the 125 college campuses it currently services. Coffee shops that participate with the app reportedly “processing 300-500 Tapingo orders a day,” and the student couriers can deliver 3-4 orders an hour. The flexible schedule of working for Tapingo is appealing to students, who can just turn on the app when they want to accept delivery job. (TechCrunch)

Disney will be harnessing the force of unboxing videos to promote Star Wars merchandise. The brand is planning an 18-hour online unboxing marathon, “Force Friday,” featuring YouTube stars opening the toys made for the upcoming Star Wars: the Force Awakens. The approach is a huge departure from traditional toy marketing, but unboxing videos are some of the most popular on YouTube, and kids are not as exposed to TV commercials as they once were. (LATimes)

As Millennials fuel their own social good movements, it is more important than ever for brands to make a difference in the world as well. JetBlue’s recent charity effort “Soar With Reading” targets kids’ book deserts—communities where there is just one age-appropriate book for sale for every 830 children. The brand placed three book vending machines in Washington, D.C., dispensing reading material for free to young readers. (ABC)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite physical store to shop in is Walmart. There is a little bit of everything. I hate the element of people at the store but the store itself is great.” –Female, 21, OH

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