Here’s to another month of WNOS – our monthly report where we update you on the latest news, trends and tips in Social & Digital – helping to keep you constantly in the know. We’ve made a few changes to our tried-and-true recipe, and we hope you love our update as much as we do.
The New Event App
New RSVP platform Partiful is making waves among young people. Combining the interactivity of group chats with the personalisation of hand-written letters of old, the app has exploded in popularity, threatening to disrupt how plans and parties are made in the online world.
Youtube’s The Top
At the end of last year, Business Insider released a survey in collaboration with YouGov to determine which social platform Gen Z finds the most trustworthy. The surprising champion? YouTube. 59% of young people surveyed agree that YouTube is the most trustworthy place to find information and consume content.
Why should you care
In the world of tastemakers and trendsetters, an invitation from Partiful is the only invitation that matters. Founded in 2020 with the tagline, ‘Facebook events for hot people,’ it has served to plug the recent gap that has developed in the world of online party-planning. In the past, people would be able to add all of their friends on Facebook to an event, but as more and more people let their Facebook accounts fall to the wayside, there hasn’t been a way to plan events outside of sending messages to chats.
Enter Partiful, which allows hosts to post a mini discussion board, a collaborative photo album, polls, bill splitting, and more. More than that, the app allows for personalisation, with cover photos and emojis, bringing back that pre-Internet DIY feel that Gen Z covets. It also taps into their love of sharing and posting, with all invitees able to post in a shared photo album of the event, keeping the moment private, but staying connected and organic.
Marketers need to be prepared for more apps like this to disrupt the digital world. With social media hours steadily declining, and people wanting to experience more in the real world (with 55% of Miillennials say they’re spending more on events, and Gen Z being two times more likely to go clubbing than any other generation), consumers want more points of connection and to live in the moment. Partiful has managed to walk the thin line between Gen Z’s reliance on technology, and their need to live authentically in the moment. Will your brand be able to marry these two disparate ideas for this contrarian generation?
For brands, it should be clear that people are looking for ways to make personal changes to their lives in service to the environment and the community, without any small print. As opposed to other operations, which are rife with greenwashing and brands not taking accountability for their climate impact, the work done by Too Good To Go is quantifiably good for the environment. How can your brand offer more honest and true opportunities for people to change their impact on the world around them?
Why Trust Youtube?
Despite being the place where controversial pundits like Ben Shapiro and Andrew Tate rose to fame, Gen Z agreed that YouTube is the most trustworthy social media platform, beating out Facebook (least trustworthy) and TikTok (second-least). We think that the platform’s unexpected credibility is due to the new culture of authenticity in the Internet age – here’s how.
YouTube’s longer-form content allows for more connection and interactivity with the content creator, with viewers feeling like they were able to get to know them well through a long ten or twenty minute vlog, as opposed to a series of pictures on Instagram, or a snackable TikTok video posted on the go. Every marketer has heard that Gen Z values relatability – with young people trusting the opinion of influencers their age over traditional celebrities. But this new data just proves how much time this generation is willing to sacrifice if it means interacting with something relatable. Being able to sit with a creator as they chat through their thoughts in a video without a time limit, or without the creator feeling like they have to grab their audience before they scroll on, cultivates a slower, more intentional and mindful style of video.
YouTube also provides an alternative to the doomscroll burnout that many young people face. In a sea of endless scrolling, clickbait, and shortform videos vying for attention-grabbing titles, YouTube video essays are a welcome reprieve from the overstimulation of TikTok or Instagram. They are slowburn content, as some videoessays reach nearly four hours long, meaning that viewers are able to watch, digest, and take it at their own pace. Moreover, YouTube videos have become cultural touchstones for people of a certain age, with Gen Z-ers and Millennials alike quoting with ubiquity from videos like Mike’s Mic Glee Recap, or Defunctland’s Fast Pass saga. YouTube videos have developed their very own realm of culture, and it’s one that marketers need to pay attention to to stay up to date with their audiences.
Records Stay Groovy
December ended with a stat that maybe no one expected: in the week leading up to Christmas, more vinyl records were sold than in any other seven-day period this century. Over 250,000 vinyl records were bought and sold, totalling up to 5.9 million vinyl records across the entirety of 2023. In the era of music streaming, why has such an outdated technology suddenly come back into fashion?
Coke’s Christmas Birthday Bash
Coca-Cola launched a campaign to highlight the most neglected people this holiday season – people with birthdays near Christmas. The brand tapped six hundred people to surprise Olivia, born on the 22nd of December, to make her feel special. Coca-Cola also encouraged people to post their birthday celebrations in the month of December, so that they could appropriately celebrate everyone born at that time of year.
Why should you care
Back To The Future?
Vinyl records have been having an absolute moment in pop culture right now. From new pressing plants being opened to sales hitting highs they’ve not seen since the 1990’s, to Taylor Swift selling one out of every twenty-five vinyl records across America this past year, it’s clear that the paradigm of music listening is about to shift, in a huge way. While many places espouse Gen Z’s love of nostalgia as the reason behind vinyl’s sudden return, we actually think it goes much deeper than that, and spans across all generations.
In 2024, fan culture is the only culture that matters – we saw that with how Spotify Wrapped tapped their artists to thank fans personally for streaming songs through the year. With merchandise sales seeing a +6 YOY growth, and 21% of fans buying merchandise during a concert, it’s clear that fans want the ability to show off their fan love, support their favourite artist directly, and form a community with other fans. More and more artists are going down this community route, whether it’s Taylor Swift’s friendship bracelet trend, or BTS’ organised fanclub. 64% of people surveyed by Amazon say their fandom is a defining part of their identity, and nearly half (48%) say their fandom helps them make sense of the world. Brands have to understand that tapping into fan culture and fan loyalty is the best way to convert fan love into brand love.
Community aside, the online world has transitioned increasingly to ephemeral, non-permanent media, and people are starting to push back. After artists like Joni Mitchell removed their music from Spotify, making it impossible to access for anyone without a physical copy of her works, consumers started making an effort to purchase physical media. BASE reported that the value of the U.K. home entertainment category rose 10.6% overall year on year, and BluRay saw a 20% growth for the full year 2022, which is only growing in interest as artists and musicians push for more physical media to be sold. Marketers need to grab this burgeoning trend, as more and more generations become disillusioned with the streaming service model and pivot back to the world of physical media.
The Importance of Being Absurdly Earnest
As the festive season is now over, we are able to look back and see what sorts of trends made themselves known in the various ad spots that launched across the period. Two key themes that we managed to pick out might seem obvious, but we think that when coupled with trends around comedy, fashion, and mental health, this could be the way forward for marketers into the future.
The first theme was absurdism. Consumers are increasingly comfortable with marketing campaigns, and by engaging six hundred people in a parody of a special-ops for one person’s birthday, Coca-Cola absolutely leaned into this surreal experience. This trend will absolutely continue on into 2024, with the success of films like Barbie playing with absurdism and weirdness, inane TikTok humour making waves, and songs like Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Nonsense’ highlighting just how viable the market is for weird, zany, and above all, fun marketing.
The second theme is earnestness. Many people on social media have called 2024 the ‘death of cringe’, where people have gone beyond the need for feeling ‘cringed out’ by interests – tell someone you love them, build your model railway, wholeheartedly embrace everything you love. As the world pivots more toward acceptance and radical self-love, so too do ads and marketing. No more will disparaging, side-eyed put-downs be popular, but instead a warm, inclusive and embracing system.
with the trends in January
Murder on the Dancefloor
Just like we saw two years ago with Running Up That Hill, we’ve had another sleeper nostalgic hit thanks to a soundtrack. This time, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ has taken TikTok by storm, people dancing and rocking out to the sound after it featured in the film Saltburn. You’d better not kill the groove.
Mean Girls (The Musical The Movie)
The most anticipated film of this generation, the musical adaptation of the mid-2000s teen classic Mean Girls is finally hitting our screens. While the jury is out as to whether the musical will be as lightning-in-a-bottle as the film (fashion pundits have already decried the costuming choices), the film will be brought up to date with commentary on social media usage, TikTok, and Gen Z trends.
Barbour’s sales hit a record high last year as tie-ups with high-end fashion brands helped it gain traction among younger shoppers.
Barbour has hit a sales record as young people flock to buy their latest collaborations, with various cool-kid brands like Maison Kitsune, Ganni, and Baracuta. You’ll be hearing the kids wax lyrical about these jackets into 2024. (Sorry!)
South Korea has just announced that they will be offering a new kind of travel visa – one solely for Korean culture fans. With Korean film, TV, and music being one of the biggest driving factors when it comes to travelling there (with K-culture cited 37 million times as a person’s reason to visit), it’s only logical that the country create a pathway for fans.
Peloton has announced that it has signed an exclusive content relationship with TikTok, creating all-new classes, live experiences, and celebrity collaborations on the platform.
Peloton is trying to reposition itself as a democratic and accessible workout option, and TikTok wants to expand its offerings into the realms of classes and sports. Could this be the perfect partnership?
The New Event App
Youtube’s The Top
Records Stay Groovy
Coke’s Christmas Birthday Bash