Trends are a moving target. They’re difficult to spot and even harder to get right.
For the past 20 years, we’ve seen a lot of youth trends come and go (and come again), which is why we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing.
Here’s our take on 2022’s hottest youth trends.
Representation matters and students agree. A survey conducted by Voxburner’s US Youth Trends Report 20211. found that 87% of Gen Z consumers would support brands that represented them. A good example is Dove, who partnered with Getty Images and Girlgaze to create more inclusive images of women, girls, and non-binary people through their project #ShowUs Campaign.2 The important lesson here is that diversity needs to be authentic without window dressing by truly representing the company’s actions and values.
Going out is back in
Like bears stuck in pandemic isolation, students are slowly coming out of their party hibernation. That’s not to say that lockdown turned SA’s youth into hermits. House parties were definitely a thing, but students are looking for more than a Spotify playlist hooked up to a sound bar. Big events are back, baby.
But what will they look like? This question inspired Jägermeister to find and sponsor four creatives to conceptualise and spearhead a new direction in nightlife. Each was given a R50,000 license to bring their dream concept to life and help reignite the industry.5.
Streaming on platforms like Twitch has seen a huge boost in popularity, especially since everyone was stuck at home during lockdown. While many boomers (and even millennials) might find the idea of watching (and paying to see) someone else playing video games ridiculous, streaming is a massive time-sink for Gen Z consumers. It’s estimated that top streamers like Ninja are pocketing millions of dollars through their content, and that’s not counting their media and sponsorship deals.3.
Locally, brands like Telkom are taking advantage of Twitch through their VS Gaming league.4. Not only does this show that their brand is at the forefront of content and technology, it also allows them to compete in a place not many brands are currently active in.
Influencers are gonna influence and have become part and parcel of most marketing strategies. However, Gen Z’s know their sh*t and will quickly spot a fake influencer campaign (Kendell Jenner and Pepsi, *cough-cough).
Brands need to prioritise influencers according to fit instead of popularity. More importantly, they need to make sure that influencer partnerships swing both ways. Influencers are brands in and of themselves, so posts and partnerships need to benefit both. Good examples like Glen Biderman’s (@glenbidermanpam) take on the Tinder Swindler for Checkers60 come to mind.6.
Everything is talking about the Metaverse right now. Even Facebook has gone as far as to change their Corporate name to Meta to show their commitment to making Meta mainstream. We’re still undecided on this one but some brands are taking note with McDonalds7. Zara8., and countless more taking a stab. Should you be taking your brand to a virtual world right now? Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing is for sure: the Internet is changing so don’t write the Metaverse off just yet.