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Trend Alert

Good to Know - Trend Alerts by LOLA MullenLowe


This week's trend is brought to you by Lucas Rodriguez, Director of Planning in Madrid.


Lately, a lot is being said about how society is being polarized, how brands need to take a stand and have a strong point of view regarding social and political issues. 

Nike, Gillette and Patagonia are just a few examples of brands jumping on the bandwagon of what seems to be hordes of citizens demanding brand activism.

Victoria’s Secret recently had to relinquish its lifelong territory and interpretation of beauty after being menaced by a majority of consumers that won’t put up with the brand’s unattainable beauty standards anymore.

But how much of this is the media setting their agenda and brands following suit? How much is it actual consumer sentiment?

We really don’t know.

But people seem to start showing signs of fatigue and people are starting to show signs of not giving a damn. At least not as much as the media and some brands want us to.

Welcome to the rise of the #Mehpidemic. A cultural zeitgeist that is showing signs of growth in the USA, and like with almost every cultural phenomenon, could easily make its way to Europe and beyond.

Data revealed by Sarah DaVanzo, Chief Curiosity Officer at L’Oreal, showed that a staggering 36% of American consumers don’t care about anything at all. With an alarming, 80% of 35-44 year olds lacking passionate curiosity about anything.

That same study shows that the use of the word curiosity is at an all-time low.

If you’ve been anywhere near a TV, a newspaper or a computer I bet you’ve heard the words equality and inequality a lot!

Well here’s some real news for you. 45 percent of those who believe inequality has increased did not call it “a bad thing,” and in a Gallup poll that asked for an open-ended response to the question of what is America’s most important problem, just one percent said inequality. Well below pressing issues like “lack of respect for each other” and “foreign aid”.

The same goes for Russia, as a supposed threat, which has been in the news cycle over and over for the past 12 months, and still, people don’t care. It doesn’t keep them up at night like the media would like us to believe.

Another interesting point is that more than half of Americans don’t have a will, which shows signs of not only caring little about today, but about what they will leave behind in the future.

We can’t really explain the reason behind this tendency. But we suspect that increasing polarization has made some segments of society uncomfortable. Having to hold immovable views, the effect these have had on the way we relate to each other, when in fact we’re not hardwired for confrontation, have worn us out.

If we add to this the erosion of trust in government institutions, media outlets and businesses on a global scale, we could argue that people are starting to show signs of being tired of having to care so much.

So yes.

While the news cycle and the media’s agenda might be pointing brands in a direction that suggests that people actually care. There are some signs that are telling us quite the opposite. That people care less and less about issues we’re constantly ready to jump onto.

Careful what you care for!!!

And stay tuned Europe, we wouldn’t be surprised if this meh-pidemic takes over the continent.