Tag Archives: Trends

FRESHLY MINTED: Twerking, Space Real Estate, and being a good neighbour, Mint Strategists uncover the sparks of micro trends this September

As culture creatures at Mint, we’re always on the lookout for what wave will come crashing onto our doorstep next and how we believe they’ll impact business and creativity.

Photo credit: Blue Origin

Space is the next luxury market

Yes, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just went to space in a very phallic looking rocket. NASA spent more than most of us will ever make in several lifetimes on ‘Space Drip’ and they’re looking for applicants to live out their Doja Cat space fantasy on pretend Mars. 

So What? 

For the ultra-wealthy, moving to another planet is an option. So, what does marketing look like on mars? No seriously, we need a strategy 😉.

In or out? WFH forces brands to grapple with what kind of company they’ll be next

As we all transition into a mostly hybrid work culture, companies are being tasked with how they are going to change for their employees. Our inclination is that yoga classes and a snack bar aren’t going to cut it as brands have been forced into having a social conscience. They will make adjustments in the next frontier of workers’ environmental rights.

So what?

Brands and agencies have the opportunity to change the way society operates simply by deciding how they’ll show up back at the office. Will the brand or agency be an active contributor to the neighbourhood that it shows up in?

Photo Credit: Parkwood Entertainment LLC

Black women really are the culture 

Beyonce is coming back to save us from ourselves with a new album focusing on the injustice and change we’ve witnessed this past year. Women at large are still lusting after black women’s bodies as the BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift) becomes the “the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the world” and has a TikTok persona to match. Last but certainly not least, Lizzo has made her Ted Talk debut on the history of twerking and its roots in blackness. 

So what?

Don’t just check off the diversity box in the casting call. Listen to and embrace black perspectives, craft, and spirit.

Advertising IS going to get ~more~ personal

With every new generation of creative talent, new values come embedded in the work they create. The new generation is surprising us by showing us just how invested they are in their work for the brands that they work on. It’s no longer about all nighters and inside jokes; it’s about mental health awareness, body inclusiveness and connecting on emotions instead of title-cards.

So What? 

We as marketers need to be more emotionally self aware to tap into work that connects.

FRESHLY MINTED: From Pop-punk to Super Moms, Mint Strategists uncover what’s trending this July

As culture creatures at Mint, we’re always on the lookout for what wave will come crashing onto our doorstep next and how it will impact business and creativity. This month the trends we’ve uncovered differ in terms of demographics and industry categories, but the one thing they all have in common is a “re” of some sort: 

A resurgence, a renaissance, a re-definition, a revival.

What does this tell us? That our current world is looking for a do-over anyway it can find it, giving us marketers a second chance at building a media world that’s different and who knows…maybe better. 

A Re-Education on Uplifting Indigenous Voices

Canada is once again re-learning its own history and with the most recent national calling out of the genocide from residential ‘schools’ this time of grief has been accompanied by big brands like Sephora and Air Canada amplifying Indigenous voices.

So What? 

At a time when brands are focusing on more diversity and consumers are watching closely, we have to ask ourselves, is this truly inclusive? Is this brand committed to contributing to real positive progress for the community being highlighted?

Y2K Renaissance is Upon Us 

For all you 90s babies out there, you might have noticed that we’ve entered into a Y2K renaissance. It’s showing up strong in fashion, with nods to Paris Hilton’s signature The Simple Life looks, nostalgic Bratz Doll art, and the famous Ed Hardy resurgence from famous Tik Toker Addison Rae. 

So what?

Nostalgia is no longer limited to those who experienced that time period; sharing and celebrating the best parts of any era can be a major flex for brands to show they ‘get it’. 

Re-re-defining Motherhood Post Covid

The pandemic has put a spotlight on existing gender inequalities in almost all areas of life and this is leading many of us to re-re-define what motherhood really means. We’re seeing political figures take note too with the Biden-Harris team announcing commitments to gender equity.

So what?

Rhetoric around gender inequality has existed for a while now, but cultural expectations are just starting to be redrawn. Let’s talk about parenting, let’s talk about boundaries and let’s talk about how to divide up family work better.

Reimagining what Inclusive Really Means through Fantasy 

Yearning for lighthearted escapism, Dungeons and Dragons rose in popularity during the pandemic, only to discover its’ dark side – a history of non-inclusion. DND created a movement within the fantasy world to ensure people of all backgrounds and abilities could sit at the table with the real stranger things – orcs, half-elves, and tieflings.

So What? 

Made-up worlds are an incredible vessel to create progressive commentary that reimagines our reality for the better.

A Revival of Pop-punk Faces Angst with its Own History   

Pop-punk has historically been dominated by caucasian bands (think Green Day, Blink 182 and Panic at the Disco). In 2021, we’re seeing the spawn of a movement to bring back pop-punk, but made for everyone with singers like Willow and KennyHoopla showcasing that angst expression is universal. 

So What? 

Whenever cultural waves start to resurface, we as marketers and creators should look back to see what narratives have already been played out. By doing so, we can course-correct the stories of the past to better serve everyone now. 

Porn, That’s SFW

It’s 2017, and I’m drunk on a rainy night in Nolita, NY. The glow of its black and orange logo is shining in my face. I squint for a moment as I think my eyes have deceived me. I wipe the raindrops off my face to get a better look. No, it’s real? Pornhub has opened a New York clothing boutique. I go inside to get out of the rain and for my curiosity. My expectations of an empty store with maybe a few curious tourists and single men with such a strong cologne scent that it could burn out my retinas, is wrong. I am wrong.

What I found was a store full of young, affluent Millennials purchasing branded bucket hats and hoodies. I said to myself, “this will not last; it’s just a fad, like skinny jeans.” I purchase my branded t-shirt, leave, to never think about it again…  

That was until Shakedown arrived in 2020. An award-winning documentary by LA director Leilah Weinraub. The film captures the cultural shifts within an underground lesbian club over several years.

And guess what? It was streamed for free on Pornhub as the platform’s first non-pornographic feature. 

Traditional NSFW brands are now producing and housing SFW content. This is not a fad; it’s the future. 

OnlyFans, often cited as the “Patreon for porn,” is now home to one of my favourite podcasts. And it’s non-porn related. The pod’s primary subject matter is a dumpster fire of a reality TV show, 90DaysFiancé. *Maybe it’s a bad habit, but I tend to fast forward to find the best bits.* 

If you’re too afraid to ask your friends and loved ones, what is OnlyFans? It began as a creator-first platform used by comedians and fitness models to help monetize their craft. But now, it’s widely known as a platform for personal, indie, uncensored adult content. Or, as I like to call it, good home cooking. 

So, why are porn sites now the best places to release non-porn content? First, we need to look at the consumer.

Traditionally Millennials have been hesitant to pay for news and entertainment but are willing (more than Gen X or Baby Boomers) to pay top dollar for experiences. A report by the Global Web Index found that millennials care less about finding a low price and are more willing than other generations to pay a premium for convenience, immediacy, and content they care for. Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, reports that millennials make up 55% of his site’s free users but 66% of its premium users. 

While our mothers and fathers were wearing disguises trying to purchase their marital aids in unmarked, brown paper bags, Millennials and Gen Zs are out in the open. We have helped rub out many of the stigmas around porn and sex work. From the mainstream reporting of former Disney Star Bella Thorn, who earned two million dollars in the first week of starting an Only Fans page, to the TikTok trend of pretending to be “An Accountant.” It’s more than ok to talk about porn and sex work online in a positive way.

Millennials and Gen Z also actively search for porn; a joint Google and Columbia University study found between 2005-2014 that porn sites consist of about 4% of the internet. But also about 20% of all searches on mobiles. *A healthy reminder to disinfect your phone.*

So, you have an active Millennial audience willing to be open, positive and pay for premium experiences. And who are regularly visiting porn sites; why not offer them tailored SFW content. It makes sense. 

Dropping a new album, showing your limited run of couture dresses, crafting an entertaining and engaging blog; don’t expect people to be excited on the traditional media platforms. Come and release it on porn.

History suggests that marketing is always a few steps behind culture, but you’re telling me that a banner ad on the Toronto Star will ever compete with a sponsored post on Pornhub; I think not. 

Culture is shifting; porn platforms are progressing, and marketing (like always) will have to catch up.

Hell Raisers: What Can Brands Learn from Dancing with the Devil?

Just over a week ago, Lil Nas X graced us with his presence in the Twitterverse to premier his new single – now gay anthem – “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)”. The song itself is what a lot of music is about: love. However, the video is what blew up our feeds and had everyone from your Aunt Karen to Nike talking about it. 

The video is a crystal-encrusted Missy Elliott (via ‘Work It’) inspired nod to the story of Lucifer and his infamous fall from heaven. The scenes from the video depict Lil Nas X in the role of Lucifer ascending down a stripper pole on his way to hell. Spoiler: he lands on the lap of the devil, seduces him (and all of us) and ultimately takes his place on the throne of Hell. The film is fun, sexy, wild entertainment…And yes, set a bomb off on the internet. 

Maybe we on the Mint Strategy team had a case of Baader-Meinhof. Maybe it was the Silicon Valley algorithm gods creating our fate. But after watching “MONTERO,” the devil started showing up everywhere:

Okay, so why is the devil so hot right now in western culture, and what does that mean – if anything – for brands?

“Satan is a symbol of rebellion against blind faith”
– Penny Lane, Director, dope ass human 

We started at the beginning: who is Lucifer and what has his role been in society after he became Satan? And most importantly, why is this relevant today? 

What we found: 

We found that Satan is THE OG rebel. It’s quite possible that the devil invented ‘punk’*. Satan was and continues to be “a symbol of rebellion against blind faith” as director Penny Lane puts it. And, oh boy, if 2020 – 2021 has shown us anything, it’s that we, collectively, are embracing the best parts of hellish-rebellion. 

2020 forced us to look at what we’ve been blindly faithful to—systems,  institutions, status quos and expectations—and question ourselves to reflect on who we’ve been and what could/should change. The result has been continuous acts of ‘rebellion’ that shift societal thinking. 

For the first time in a long time, society is continually supporting trans-rights, the national acknowledgement of missing and murdered indigenous women, the cries for the abolishment of racist systems beyond the US and putting a bright spotlight on the climate crisis.
We are continuing to question and challenge the world as it is and rebelling against blind faith. 

Stunning. Good job, society. Love that for us! 

Why it matters: 

Do brands have a part to play in society’s rebellion? The short answer: hell yes.

Now we don’t think sticking devil horns on everything in your next campaign is necessarily the move, unless you’re Match.com, or Dirt Devil, but we do think what society and Satan’s trying to tell us about the value of active rebellion against blind faith is something brands should at least think about. 

It’s actually pretty simple if you think about it, it’s what we as strategists and marketers should always be doing: 

Listen up to what’s happening around you

Reflect on it (don’t just blindly follow)  

And then, rebel.

Brands these days are made to lead. Or, as the devil would say, raise a little Hell.

*we don’t actually have any evidence that Satan invented punk, we just thought it was a cool way to describe rebellion, don’t @ us.