Cultural trend analysis will become even more important to everyone in the third quarter of 2018 because we are in the midst of major value and sentiment paradigm shifts.
Connecting will become even more important and to do so, understanding mindset, motivations, fears, and goals of society will be paramount.
Here are my picks for key areas and insights that I will be tracking this year and breaking down via periodic updates:
Celebrities are increasingly becoming involved in political and social issues. Trump’s anti-immigration policy is only the latest, bringing out such notables as Laura Dern, Amy Schumer, Kerry Washington, Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and John Legend.
These celebrities bring awareness to help keep families together. However, the next level of the narrative will be holding such notables accountable for increased participation rather than one-offs. This is where unique business opportunities will intersect with public service.
Your play: Watch this. It’s rare that celebs move solo. It’s either all or none and usually a one-off attempt through their megaphones. As cause-related marketing ops heat up, compel them to deepen their participation by long-term strategies that your company can drive for the largest social good while still making the bottom line.
The recent use of the n-word from a now former Netflix exec gives further demonstration to the CEO as quasi-public figure in this tension-filled era. Netflix was quick to jump on this. It’s just one of the increasingly bold racial outbursts in which more and more companies are finding themselves entangled.
Your play: Photos such as the recreation of “A Great Day in Harlem” are nice, and they reinforce Netflix’s commitment to creatives of color, but diversity is never equivalent to equity. Efforts should lead to more than images and hiring of creatives. Giving back to communities of color that Help drive Netflix’s massive revenue should be next. Diversity should never be confused with equity. Spread the social word on this.
Fortune magazine recently did a piece about certain debit cards being the new hot status symbol among 18-34. Acorns, SoFi and Venmo allegedly rank very high.
Your play: Watch for articles like this because they may be jumping the gun a bit. Not all 80-plus million millennials follow the same trends. Make no mistake, the AMEX Black Card still reigns supreme in many sub demos. Others are all about crypto over any cards. Stay alert on the needs and moves of the variety of millennials and you’ll stay ahead of the curve.
Blockchain in advertising is going to be h-u-g-e. It’s just that simple. As blockchain and crypto intersect vital parts of the backbone of our capitalist society, rest assured that this space will grow exponentially for the rest of the year.
Your play: The most important space to watch is new ways to leverage brand messaging beyond simply using blockchain to carry out the standard ad buy with greater transparency. Those who do so will be the winners. Stay up on every conference you can attend in order to be with innovators in this important space.
As I mentioned in my keynote speech during the NAB Conference in Las Vegas in April, watch for increasing trends around women of color and politics. As Moguldom reported, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina running in her first political campaign, defeated political veteran Joe Crowley in the Democratic Party’s congressional primary in New York City. What is important to note is that she is half the age of the Caucasian male she defeated and is indicative of a major power trend that will change the country as we know it!
Your play: While Caucasian women in Hollywood have primarily co-opted part of the Feminism 2.0 narrative, watch for women of color to go for other levels of political and economic power to truly change the narrative of the growing majority in the U.S: people of color.
See additional ways in which you can leverage each of these trends. Don’t miss “Conquer All,” the included track by new artist Kelvin D. Frazier, Ph.D.
As our world changes, cultural intelligence is definitely the new oil.
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