Our lifestyle choices along with opinions and reactions are largely governed by cultural trends that are prominent at the time. These trends are set by icons in their respective fields, be it sports, fashion or business. Television has been responsible for inculcating a sense of ‘cool’ in the minds of the youth for many years. Its reach has widened with exposure and a distribution of wealth to the masses. Influential advertising and content development also affects trends or mirrors them to their advantage. Campaigns are a direct reflection of what’s on the mind of their target audience and is a prime example of how the mindset is used to promote their products and services. Part of marketing and advertising companies’ responsibility is to be aware and stay updated with respect to the current trends and identify this direction of the shift.
The youth from around the world and countries are the primary trendsetters since they are the present and the future. Their actions dictate the trends to come and set standards for the people.
From our viewpoint, we identified these as the top three important trends that have dominating the current scene –
Millennials are said to be infamous for their fear of attachment. Whether it is to relationships, brands or decisions, this generation resents the idea of being tied down. A sort of vagabond-ish lifestyle is the dream of every privileged youth across the globe. Brands, having recognized this very apparent trend, have started to alter their products and services in order to conform to these worries. For example, buying a house and settling down is an alien concept to them and seems like a colossal waste of money. So Airbnb and Realtor.com launched a platform where people can go, visit the apartment and live there for sometime to ensure if the place fits in with their lifestyles. A buyer’s remorse or social embarrassment are two very real threats to companies in today’s day and age.
Long gone are the days where the younger generations identified themselves with what car they drove or what kind of house they lived in. Today, a person’s social media posts are considered to be the summary of a personality and your fashion sense is an extension of your choices. Media has obviously picked up on this trend and has made itself all about the individual. Person centric and unique is what they aim for. With newer apps that help you communicate your personal brand, this trend has been up and coming rapidly. Visual identification is imperative now with GIFs and Snapchat saying so much more about you than your writing style or words in general. Shorter attention spans have led to people relating to quick imagery and rapid references more than old content.
Never Growing Up:
At one point, it was deemed as cool to be an adult and call the shots. But with commitment phobic nature comes the fear of responsibility. And today, ‘adulting’ is synonymous with responsibility. Many generations are now fearful of growing up and accepting new decisions and choices that they have made and building a life around it. So they look for someone older in order to feel younger themselves. The desire to escape and pause time has intensified enormously in recent times. This in turn has started a trend which allows the prospect of growing up to be a little less daunting. Making things playful and fun and showing the youth that it may not be so bad, has become another branding and marketing trend.
Awareness and Empathy:
The world is undergoing some major shifts in dynamics where social awareness is concerned. It is not only necessary but also cool now to care. The time for sympathizing is long gone. Understanding people’s problems that you may not be going through personally, is the done thing today. Whether it is feminism, racism or LGBQT rights, the youth feels the need to voice their disapproval of being stuffed in a box or bracket. They despise it and make sure that their opinions are heard. Large women on the runway, children with down syndrome in ad campaigns, homosexual couples finally being acknowledged on film, these are all ways the media is trying to get in on this trend. Arousing empathetic emotions guarantees a ‘share’ and a ‘like’ which in today’s world of digital advertising, goes a long way.
These are some of the prominent trends that have started a cycle which will roll on for a few years to come, or maybe not. With an unpredictable generation ruling the school, who knows what lies next? One can only guess.