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Harvard Pranks and S&P's Gen Z Obsession
“Fifty Shades of freshman”
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Reading a daily newsletter about youth culture 🤝 creating award-winning campaigns that connect with Gen Z. My friends at Day One Agency are looking for creative thinkers and problem solvers to help leading brands earn Gen Z’s attention (see: the recent Chipotle X Roblox launch). If that sounds like you, drop a line at email@example.com and be sure to check out their recently relaunched youth insights arm Ask Gen Z.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Gen Z cusper daughter Saleka is an aspiring musician — and, as is often the case with famous offspring, assuredly a soon-to-be it girl; the appeal of MySpace nostalgia, according to a Gen Zer; Gen Z explains how millennials can text better; Chipotle is partnering with Kacey Musgraves and Carhartt to support young farmers; and faux freckle tattoos are trending on TikTok.
As the generation gets older and enters the workforce (whatever the “workforce” looks like these days, what with the creator economy and all that), Gen Z is beginning to make big money — but they’re saving a third of their income, which is significant. Meanwhile, brands are desperate for the money they are spending; the phrase “Gen Z” was mentioned 64 times in S&P 500 earnings calls so far this year, more than twice as often as all of 2020.
None of this list is terribly surprising: Google, Amazon, and Apple are top three, Roblox comes in at #11, Trader Joe’s at #13, and GOAT at #49 ahead of Crocs (#50). Also, Starbucks topped Dunkin’, which I found noteworthy only because of Dunkin’s Charli D’Amelio partnership. Shein, fwiw, did not make the cut, and neither did Victoria’s Secret…
An obvious play to reclaim the Gen Z shopper, who is far more likely to spend their money on, say, Parade.
This new Mindy Kaling-produced series debuts tomorrow, and while it’s gotten mixed reviews (Rolling Stone called it “Fifty Shades of freshman”), I’m excited to watch it because it sounds like SATC meets PEN15. “The show instead treats undergraduate intimacy with the friendly skepticism it deserves. There’s mortification, bewilderment, klutzy desire and sometimes, between rounds of beer pong, the stirrings of self-discovery.”
43% of Harvard’s white students are either recruited athletes, legacy students, on the dean’s interest list (meaning their parents have donated to the school), or children of faculty and staff; roughly three-quarters of these applicants would have been rejected if it weren’t for having rich parents or being an athlete.
↳ In other news re: whether Harvard students are smart or not, an MIT student turned a prank dating app for Harvard students into an actual matchmaking service.
One last thought: