Daily news, insights, and expert commentary on current and future Gen Z and Millennial trends.

 

Fellowship of the Ring

A friend of mine sent me this story on how the American evangelical movement called the Silver Ring Thing is gaining traction with some British...

The Next Michael Moore

Knight Ridder wrote a nice profile of teen documentary filmmaker Chaille Stovall. At 15, Chaille has been named one of “20 Teens Who Will Change the...

The Real 'O.C.'?

Variety is reporting that MTV will premiere a new “unscripted” drama September 14 called “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.” According to the story, “the weekly...

Cinderella Slam No Eggs Over My Hammy

The Movie Marketing Blog has a hilarious post about how Denny’s has teamed with Warner Bros. to promote Hilary Duff’s latest...

'Idol' Chatter

Checking in on our new teen “Idols” Fantasia and Diana… Fantasia Barrino’s record has debuted at number 10 on the charts...

Britney's Bundle, Mary-Kate Hangin' In

Tabloids are speculating (and the Associated Press is reporting the speculation) that Britney Spears may have a bun in the oven hastening her marriage to...

Fast Times on School Computers

ClickZ’s latest research tells us the shocking news that kids are looking at “inappropriate” Web content on school computers. Porn, hate sites, violent content,...

Pen Theft on the Rise

I was always convinced it was gnomes that stole our pens and my sunglasses. Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago is targeting preteens and teenagers in...

The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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