Tomorrow the world will celebrate the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and as Gen Z looks on at the festivities, they'll wonder what the big deal is. To teens, Earth Day is a relic from a past era that makes little sense to their lives now. That's not because they don't care about the environment-quite the opposite in fact. It's because they don't need a special day to remind them to consider their environmental impact.
Today's teens have disrupted many facets of our culture, from media to communication to self-expression. And now, they're starting to disrupt the workplace itself. Last year, Millennials displaced Gen X as the largest generation in the workforce. With an improving economy and a much tighter labor market, employers are fighting tooth and nail for the best Millennial job candidates. Pay is important, and indeed, wages are finally starting to rise after years of stagnation.
The majority of social video information is focused on the big players in the space: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. While these industry giants make up the majority of views online, emerging and niche platforms targeting younger audiences such as Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr can be a strong addition to youth-based social media campaigns.
Understandably, brands have been growing their digital media spends and getting on board with the latest social media platforms to reach today's digital-centric audiences. With that have come expectations of existing programs for reaching and influencing the up-and-coming post-Millennial, or Gen Z audience. Yet, taking a closer look at this demographic, brands may find themselves sorely disappointed in their digital results by giving short shrift to the old "tried and true" real-world experiences.
I live outside Boston, a bastion of liberal attitudes and progressive thought. The reputation I like to think we have for inclusion and even-handedness has been battered recently by a spate of hate speech among teens. Some of these instances have happened at some of our most respected schools. At Boston Latin, the oldest school in America and one of the city's most competitive, black students have been told to go back to Africa and at Newton North, a high school in one of the most affluent communities, Jewish students were taunted about killing Jesus.
Nancy Reagan left an incredible legacy when she passed away recently, particularly in regard to her work for young people. She made huge strides in a key issue facing teens in the 1980s: drug use. It was a growing problem at the time and one that needed immediate attention before it spiraled out of control. When the Reagans entered the White House, teen drug use was near record levels, but when they departed eight years later, it had declined by 47% and continued to drop.
So far, the story of the 2016 U.S. election has been the rise of outsider candidates. On the Republican side, of course, is Donald Trump, now the leading contender after his massive Super Tuesday wins. On the Democratic front, there's the 74-year-old senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.
The power of The Force is a very good thing for millions of fans, and especially for Hollywood and movie theaters. In 2015, thanks in large part to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, U.S. box offices reached record revenue of $11 billion. And analysts predict that stocks for theater operators like AMC Entertainment will also enjoy the "Star Wars bump."
Gen Z is pre-programmed to aspire to independence and individuality. They were raised by Xer parents who were known for their self-reliance in their own youth and wanted to instill the same qualities in their children. As young kids, Z's were pushed to find their own way; this is in contrast to Millennials, who were heavily supported by helicopter parents.
Every generation has its teen idols. Baby Boomers had Elvis and Frankie Avalon. Gen X had Kirk Cameron and Jason Bateman. The oldest Millennials had the New Kids on the Block.