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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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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