Young Males’ 15 Biggest Passions Right Now

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Gen Z and Millennial men are redefining masculinity, and that means they’re interested in more than just beer and ballgames. Here’s what they’re passionate about now...

Art shows, cooking, and fashion? Not for your average Joe according to male stereotypes. But today’s young male consumers are breaking these stereotypes, and companies better pay attention. As we explored in our recent quarterly trend report, Millennial & Gen Z males are embracing a new era of manhood. They are part of the Genreless Generation, ignoring the old rules of masculinity.  Instead, young males are embracing a more multidimensional gender definition. As a recent study on 15-29-year-old Canadian men found, young males today prioritize selflessness and social consciousness more than previous generations, and the study's co-author believes today's guys have more freedom to express their true feelings.

On top of this, young males are unexpectedly emerging as key consumer influencers—but not in the categories you’d think. According to a recent report by Engagement Labs, Millennial men are now 50% more likely to be consumer influencers than Millennial women, and men 25-39-years-old are increasingly recommending beauty, apparel, and household products—not just sports content and video games. Millennial men are 69% more likely than all men to be influencers in the beauty category, as well as 47% more likely in retail and apparel.

Clearly their priorities are shifting—and that means their interests are, too. So what are they passionate about today? In our recent Topline report on Gen Z and Millennial offline interests and passions, we asked 13-35-year-old males to reveal their current fixations*, which are a far cry from the stereotypical interests of old. Here are their top 15 responses:

*This was an open-end…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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