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Artificial digital influencers are on the rise and collaborating with brands
Implications - Computer-generated social media influencers are on the rise, and so now are their collaborations with big brands due to their enormous popularity online. These virtual models are put together with the popular aesthetics that can be observed on platforms like Instagram, and are unique in their ability to reach millions of young consumers while retaining an air of mystique and intrigue.

Homework Question - Conceptualize a campaign for younger consumers that would leverage the reach of a virtual influencer. [More]

SCORE 8.1
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
45,502 Total Clicks
Jun 18 - Nov 18
This Month and Warm
Pop CultureTechArt & DesignMarketing
NASA expands on its image with unique lifestyle branding partnerships
Implications - Looking to seize the opportunity provided by their cultural status, NASA is branching out with a number of lifestyle partnerships that see the creation of coveted co-branded streetwear and sneakers. This progression highlights the youthful fascination with utilitarian brands and the new pattern of crossover collections between such institutions and cult style collectives.

Homework Question - What unexpected lifestyle experiences could be considered in order to expand on your brand's place in the cultural zeitgeist? [More]

SCORE 7.3
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
66,708 Total Clicks
May 17 - Oct 18
This Quarter and Warm
Pop CultureFashion
Memes and Internet culture are explained for mainstream audiences
Implications - The rise of social media has ushered in a strong Internet culture that resonates with many consumers. Knowledge of this culture has become a marker of belonging to the tribe of "Internet insiders," effectively positioning the ability to "get it" as a status symbol. As a response, museum exhibitions, apps, and even books are being released as a way to bring this Internet insider information to the mainstream. This alleviates the exclusivity factor while legitimizing the relevance of Internet culture.

Homework Question - What is one area your brand is an "insider" in, and how can you share your knowledge with customers? [More]

SCORE 4.8
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
41,087 Total Clicks
Feb 18 - Sep 18
This Year and Mild
Pop CultureInternet
References to fantasy movies make their way into unexpected, mainstream markets
Implications - No longer just niche elements of pop culture fandom, cult movies and character references are making their way into mainstream categories like household goods and furnishings for consumer appeal. More than merely movie memorabilia, brands in categories like home décor are integrating design references from popular fantasy franchises as a means to not only connect with younger demographics, but also reinvent themselves in a way not typically associated with more high-end goods.

Homework Question - What elements of pop culture could you tap to reinvent yourselves in a way that younger consumers can better identify with? [More]

SCORE 6.7
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
52,334 Total Clicks
Sep 17 - Sep 18
This Year and Warm
The 6 Patterns of Opportunity & Top 18 Megatrends
Cannabis becomes a formalized part of festival culture
Implications - The use of cannabis in festivals has been common for decades, and legalization and decriminalization in North America has brought on the branded formalization of this substance's use in festival-like environments. This shift indicates brands' willingness to put their names behind cannabis and its related products as perceived consumer acceptance of the substance rises.

Homework Question - How could your brand push for more equal application of marijuana legalization? [More]

SCORE 7.1
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
130,185 Total Clicks
Mar 17 - Aug 18
This Year and Warm
Pop CultureArt & Design
Virtual reality now plays a larger role in online dating
Implications - With digital platforms now being one of the preferred methods of meeting potential partners, the incorporation of virtual reality into dating is now rising in popularity. This habit comes as cultural shifts in urban environments lead to social interactions that are simultaneously hyperconnected, and physically isolated.

Homework Question - How could your brand employ VR in its products/services/campaigns? [More]

SCORE 5.9
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
47,129 Total Clicks
Aug 16 - Aug 18
This Year and Mild
Pop CultureTech
Social media platforms offer interactive, direct-purchase features
Implications - Social media platforms kept afloat by ad revenue are now creating direct-purchase functions, whether interactive or still in traditional picture or video forms. These functions create additional sources of revenue for the brands and the social media platforms themselves, while offering consumers simplified, convenience-minded methods of purchase.

Homework Question - How could your brand leverage direct-purchase options on popular social media platforms? [More]

SCORE 8.1
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
56,530 Total Clicks
Jul 17 - Sep 18
This Year and Warm
Pop CultureMarketing
Trend Hunter Services
QSRs tap well known cereal brands for flavored shakes
Implications - As many consumers continue to pine for elements of simpler times from their formative years, QSRs have responded by releasing cereal-flavored milkshakes. This allows restaurants to leverage the instant brand recognition and clout associated with popular cereal brands while also engaging the added benefit of aligning consumers into tribes based on their preferred flavor, a feature most desirable to connection-seeking Millennials. While this might not enact an overwhelming sense of belonging, its small micro-connections like these that weave the fabric of socialization.

Homework Question - How does your brand enable your customers to feel more connected to the world around them? [More]

SCORE 6
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
27,553 Total Clicks
Apr 17 - Jul 18
This Year and Warm
Streaming brands tackle social, political and environmental causes
Implications - The ever-broadening platform streaming services have has resulted in these companies' willingness to raise awareness for various social, political and environmental causes in unique ways. Collaborating with charities and celebrities alike, these campaigns are able to engage consumers with these causes in a way that is seamless and suits their preferred daily routines.

Homework Question - How could your brand raise awareness for important causes in ways that are seamlessly integrated into its product/service? [More]

SCORE 4.1
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
17,248 Total Clicks
Nov 17 - Jul 18
This Year and Untested
Pop CultureSocial Good
Menu items take inspiration from pop culture references for mass appeal
Implications - QSR brands are making nods to pop culture references by adapting their menu items to mimic cult tv shows and celebrity figures. From burgers adapted to reference popular cartoons to entire menus inspired by children's movies, these examples not only showcase a desire from brands to connect with consumer interests, but it also showcases a willingness to take risks by integrating very niche, specific references into brands' mass marketing channels.

Homework Question - In what ways could you adapt your product or service offerings to be more in line with your consumer's lifestyle and interests? [More]

SCORE 6.2
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Megatrends
Patterns
39,757 Total Clicks
Jul 17 - Jul 18
This Year and Warm
Pop CultureLifestyleFoodDrinking