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Pop Culture Consumer Insights

Adventurous Marketing
Brands are offering exclusive content to consumers through specialized apps
Trend - Brands are turning to content subscription services like OnlyFans to market their products during the stay-at-home era. While popular with creators and influencers, fashion brands, media publishers and others are just entering the game with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and more.

Insight - Consumers are spending more time at home now more than ever due to the ongoing global pandemic and this is causing many to increase their online consumption. Turning to the Internet for anything from shopping and entertainment to socialization and work, many are becoming aware of the ubiquitous and accessible nature of digital platforms. Nostalgic for the exclusive experiences that they might have been privy to prior to the pandemic, consumers are looking to feel special by demanding limited content.
Workshop Question - How can your brand utilize a content subscription service?
7.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Metaverse Expansion
Tech brands are investing in developing and perfecting metaverse experiences
Trend - The term “metaverse” refers to a virtual reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment, as well as with one another. Tech companies are racing to develop the potential of these digital spaces, with emphasis on social life, culture, and brand presence.

Insight - The incredible speed at which technology is evolving is resulting in an uptick of digital services, pertaining both to aesthetic, as well as functional experiences. Led by curiosity, excitement, and a desire to be entertained, many individuals are spending increased amounts of time on the Internet. Whether it involves developing their personal brand, entrepreneurial project, socializing, or play, consumer expectations are informing a demand for increased immersion.
Workshop Question - How can your brand utilize future metaverse opportunities?
6.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Binge Slow-Down
Production companies are intentionally slowing down the rate of new releases
Trend - With bulk releases and online debuts of the latest movies, streaming services and film companies have continued to encourage binge-watching, offering a distraction for consumers during COVID-19. Now, brands are pulling back their schedules to weekly episode releases and cinema-first debuts in order to increase viewer engagement.

Insight - When looking for entertainment and comfort during the ongoing pandemic, contemporary consumers have been prioritizing efficient, no-fuss options. As a result, many have been relying on online on-demand content. With increased consumption during COVID-19 and even prior to it, individuals have started experiencing some fatigue. In this space, many are looking for ways to develop healthier relationships with their favorite content providers and this allows them to feel more grounded and energized.
Workshop Question - How can your brand increase audience engagement?
4.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
In-Game Inclusion
In-game features, storylines and campaigns prioritize inclusive representation
Trend - In-game functions, stories and marketing campaigns are prioritizing inclusion for a range of demographics. Everything from real-time language translators to history based, anti-racist storylines are giving the industry some much-needed inclusion and representation.

Insight - A range of industries have been put under the microscope by consumers, particularly in North America, who increasingly expect that brands offer accurate and adequate representation for them. The diversity of North America is often not well-represented, but underserved demographics are increasingly being heard in their calls for inclusion.
Workshop Question - How is your brand prioritizing accurate representation and inclusion?
4.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
K-Pop Fitness
Brands are leveraging the K-Pop industry to attract new consumers
Trend - Brands in the fitness space are leveraging K-Pop's popularity to attract new consumers. These include fitness classes, lifestyle and eating tracking apps, and training services inspired by idols from the popular music genre.

Insight - Globalization has impacted the interests and hobbies of consumers around the world and the influence of South Korean culture–specifically beauty and entertainment–has been unprecedented. The appeal for North American consumers lies in the novel ways in which South Korea is able to create and present cultural trends, reaching audiences through key tastemakers that hold massive influence. This appeal has prompted many consumers to strive to achieve the beauty and fitness standards of these idols, leaning into offerings that leverage this star-power
Workshop Question - What is one international trend you could leverage?
4.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Anti-Doomscroll
Brands and designers are launching initiatives to help consumers stay positive
Trend - "Doomscrolling" is a psychological phenomenon where users scroll through bad news headlines on the Internet, even though the stories are creating unhealthy feelings. This term returned to popularity during COVID-19 and the global anti-racism movement. In response, new initiatives are raising awareness to counter the harmful doomscrolling habit with mindfulness and boundaries.

Insight - Thanks to the Internet, consumers can gain awareness of what is happening in the world at any given moment. As such, many individuals are seeking out information daily to educate themselves on social, political, and economic topics. For many, the act of being "always-on" creates negative feelings and contributes to burnout. As a result, consumers are looking for ways to strike a balance between their connected and offline selves. In prioritizing their mental health, individuals are able to remain happier and more motivated to contribute to problems with solutions.
Workshop Question - How can your brand help consumers strike a balance between URL and IRL?
5.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Resurgent Chess
Brands launch new chess-related products in response to rising consumer interest
Trend - The recent launch of the show 'The Queen's Gambit' has caused a spike in brands launching chess-related products to accommodate growing consumer interest. These include luxurious designer chess sets, AI-generated pop culture chess players, and adaptive AI chessboards.

Insight - COVID-19 and subsequent time indoors have left individuals pursuing more hobbies at home. Amid the uncertainty of this year, many are longing for pastimes that offer a sense of stability with activities that are intellectually stimulating and offer a defined set of rules. Thus, individuals are turning to traditional forms of recreation that occupy both their hands and minds–providing a welcomed mental escape for the confines of their homes.
Workshop Question - How can your brand following pop culture shifts and responding subsequently?
7.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Celebrity Seltzer
Celebrity collaborations in the seltzer market are increasing in popularity
Trend - Celebrities—whether they be chefs, singers, and even investors—are recognizing the immense popularity of hard seltzers as refreshing low-alcohol beverages with younger consumers. As a result, many are working with brands to launch their own special version.

Insight - The purchasing decisions of Millennial consumers are strongly influenced by the social media platforms they favor. As many become increasingly trusting of the celebrities and influencers they follow, individuals begin focusing on these personalities' preferences—from lifestyle to food and beverage. This information is later used as guidelines and inspiration for consumer's own purchasing decisions when they are experiencing uncertainty about the items they want to buy.
Workshop Question - Conceptualize a collaboration between your brand and a celebrity.
5.9
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Celebrity Curation
Celebrities are curating specialized boxes for consumers during COVID-19
Trend - In order to connect with their fan base, celebrities are partnering up with brands and curating specialized boxes and experiences that are useful to individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic—from fitness programs to grooming or snack boxes.

Insight - Consumers are doing their best to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic by staying at home and maintaining social distancing. For many, shopping online is the better or the only option—whether it's for essentials or something necessary for a daily routine. Individuals often find it difficult to gauge a product virtually, void of the in-store shopping experience support, and as a result, are turning to the advice of people whose opinion they trust.

Workshop Question - Conceptualize a brand collaboration with a celebrity during COVID-19.
6.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Psychedelic Expansion
Researchers and entrepreneurs are exploring the benefits of magic mushrooms
Trend - Whether it is in the form of therapy, a branding technique, or a product/experience, companies are increasingly exploring the potential of magic mushrooms or truffles in the context of the contemporary market. These experiments are conducted legally and entrusted to the guidance of experienced professionals.

Insight - Openness to new experiences is something that contemporary consumers are attuned to—especially individuals who are part of the Millennial and Gen Z demographics. Many seek out ways to satisfy their growing curiosity and this is made possible in various industries thanks to the rich, unique, and diverse product offerings. In this space, individuals are expanding their sense of adventurism and are, therefore, creating a demand for increasingly daring and impactful experiences.
Workshop Question - How will your target consumer react to the legalization of this ingredient?
4.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends