Gen Z and Millennials Care More About Memes Than Movie Releases, Study Finds

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Former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) sits in the stands of the Capitol before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. Image: AFP / Brendan Smialowski via ETX Daily Up

If we asked you to think of a ‘pop culture moment’, what would you think of? A movie release, a sporting event or the launch of a new television series? While the tastes of Millennials are different from Gen Z, both generations agree that the pop culture moments that interest them most involve social media, with memes and viral videos in mind.

Memes and viral videos are now the pop culture moments that younger generations care about the most, more than movie releases or sporting events, according to a study by YPulse *. Some 55% of Gen Z respondents say their generation cares about viral videos and social media memes, while 48% of Millennials think the same. Music comes in second, with a new album or song scoring 48% for Gen Z and 38% for Millennials. Finally, the world of video games comes in third place, with 48% of Generation Z and 33% of Millennials declaring that their generation is interested in new video game releases.

The use of memes has exploded on social media since the COVID-19 pandemic. A phenomenon explained by the American Psychological Association in a study highlighting how funny or cute memes can help reduce stress and boost people’s confidence in their ability to cope with the pandemic. In addition to being a source of comfort or escape in these dark times, memes and viral videos are also used by young people to keep up with current affairs online and in the world of pop culture. .

Another takeaway from the ‘Pop Culture Redefined’ report is that while Gen Z is unpredictable, driven by social media, not a fixed schedule of popular events, Millennials still value such moments highly. For example, 44% of Millennials say their generation is interested in a movie release, and as many in celebrity scandals. The launch or finale of a TV series and major sporting events are also part of their interests, unlike Gen Z.

However, if an event involves multiple factors, such as memes associated with a political event, both generations can be reached, as seen with Bernie Sanders’ meme of Joe Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States. in January 2021.

What moments in pop culture do Gen Z and Millennials care about their Generation?

Social media meme / viral video – Gen Z: 55% / Millennials: 48%

New album / song released – Gen Z: 48% / Millennials: 38%

New video game released – Gen Z: 42% / Millennials: 33%

New movie released – Gen Z: 41% / Millennials: 44%

Trending hashtags on social media – Gen Z: 39% / Millennials: 34%

Celebrity Scandal – Gen Z: 37% / Millennials: 44%

Popular TV Show Finale – Gen Z: 34% / Millennials: 38%

New TV show released – Gen Z: 32% / Millennials: 37%

A great sporting event – Gen Z: 31% / Millennials: 37%

A great fashion event – Gen Z: 29% / Millennials: 22%

Political events – Gen Z: 27% / Millennials: 32%

A price reduction – Gen Z: 26% / Millennials: 26%

Celebrity / Brand Product Drops – Gen Z: 26% / Millennials: 23%

Broadcast or virtual concert – Gen Z: 23% / Millennials: 21%

Brand wars on social media – Gen Z: 20% / Millennials: 17%

My generation doesn’t care about pop culture – Gen Z: 6% / Millennials: 9%

* Based on a survey of 1,450 people aged 13 to 39 in North America, conducted in October 2021. JB

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