- Stranger Things, Elvis and cosplay
- How is Daisy Jones and The Six different?
- How is Daisy Jones and The Six changing the face of popular culture for Gen Z?
- The intersection of pop culture and TikTok
- Key takeaways
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Gen Z is living through difficult times. From rising inflation to political unrest, this young cohort are looking for an escape… and where are they finding it? Pop culture, of course. It’s a tale as old as time.
The intersecting worlds of pop culture and social media are having a huge impact on the lives of this generation (and their spending habits!). Today, we take a look at how these immersive worlds are impacting young people, discuss why escapism is a form of therapy for Gen Z, and share how recent series Daisy Jones & The Six is completely changing the storytelling game.
Stranger Things, Elvis and cosplay
We’ve seen it before with Stranger Things (remember when the ’80s aesthetic came back and Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill soared through the charts?!) and cosplayers gathering at conventions for some time, whether that’s Star Trek or Doctor Who. But there’s something different about Amazon Prime Video’s Daisy Jones & The Six…
Daisy Jones & The Six, based on the novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, follows central characters Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne as they navigate their way through a will they-won’t they relationship, their work with band The Six, drug misuse, addiction, families, and general rock n’ roll life. Set in the 1990s, the ‘biopic’ interviews the characters as they look back to their time in the limelight in the 1970s.
Whilst recent biopics such as Elvis and Rocketman have had album releases to accompany the films, these have always cited the actors as the artists – for example, Elvis on Spotify credits actor Austin Butler for a number of the tracks. Meanwhile, Daisy Jones & The Six is a totally immersive experience, with songs from the album being credited to the characters. From fashion to music, the series has created its own world for Gen Z to live and breathe in.
Despite only being released at the beginning of March, the hashtag #daisyjonesandthesix currently has 564.4M views on TikTok. In other words, it’s a massive hit with Gen Z.
How is Daisy Jones and The Six different?
As mentioned, the actors are credited by their character names on the Aurora album – in fact, there have even been rumours of them going on tour as the band (not unlikely considering lead singer Riley’s family connections to Elvis Presley and keyboard player Suki Waterhouse’s already-famous TikTok song ‘Good Looking’). This is perfect for Gen Z fans, a generation who are discovering ’70s music and Fleetwood Mac for the first time.
Meanwhile, the boho-chic fashion of the series appeals to not only the playfulness and freedom that Gen Z are already familiar with thanks to icons Alexa Chung and Florence Welch, but also to the chaotic, pixie-dreamgirl trend that’s popular on TikTok. From the flares and bell bottom jeans to the double denim and fringed waistcoats, Gen Zers are immersing themselves in the ’70s look and sharing ‘Get Ready With Me’ videos.
And what about the commercialisation of Daisy Jones & The Six? Well, aside from the Aurora album (music review site Pitchfork gave it a 6.6 rating), the show’s collaboration with boho clothing brand Free People is one that can’t be missed. Visitors to the site are greeted with an embedded video of leading lady Riley Keough (Daisy Jones) modeling the capsule wardrobe that the show and brand have collaborated on, which includes embellished belts, sunglasses, and slip dresses. Additionally, Amazon has made it as easy as possible to shop the looks of the show, with items from Free People being available on Amazon US. There’s no question about it – Gen Z viewers across the globe will be rushing to the sites to snatch up the latest looks.
As TikToker @kate_roberston_said in a recent video: “Shoutout to the producers, shoutout to Mama Reece [Witherspoon], everyone who made these things happen, because whilst it’s like ‘yes, capitalism at its finest, yuck, I want to be sick’, it’s also something that’s not really been done before, which is, in the media space and the streaming space, incredible.”
How is Daisy Jones and The Six changing the face of popular culture for Gen Z?
This is a new and immersive way of storytelling, and its popularity with Gen Z certainly tells us something about this generation. Experiences like this act as an escape from reality, providing young people with the opportunity to adapt and mold themselves to suit their moods. This, of course, is something that we’re seeing more of anyway thanks to Gen Z’s gender fluidity and fashion choices (you can read more about this in our Inclusivity in Fashion & Retail report!).
So why is this landing with this young generation? Well, they’re living through stressful times – whether it be rising inflation, climate change, or mental health issues, Gen Z are having their formative years shaped by chaotic world events. The immersive worlds that television series, films, and books like Daisy Jones & The Six create allow Gen Z to escape, be playful, and adopt a new personality, even if just for a little while.
The intersection of pop culture and TikTok
But it doesn’t stop there – once again, we’re seeing the power of TikTok when it comes to breaking down barriers between Gen Z and famous faces/brands. The main cast, namely Suki Waterhouse, have taken to the social media platform to share behind-the-scenes snippets, footage from ‘band camp’ (the intense rehearsal process that the cast went through), clips of the cast travelling between interviews, and outfit reveals.
Not only does content like this allow TikTokers to see their favourite stars in a different light, but it also welcomes Gen Z into the world of, in this case, Daisy Jones & The Six even more. They know everything there is to know, whether that be makeup tips and tricks, the ‘real looks’ of the actors or the processes they went through to get into character. Also, shoutout to Suki Waterhouse for essentially taking on a PR & Marketing for the show here – great work.
Ultimately, social media platforms like TikTok help young people get to know their favourite fictional characters on an even more intimate level – a level of intimacy that this generation is craving right now.
- Gen Zers are having a hard time right now, and they’re looking for an escape. It’s up to the brands, businesses, and people they love and trust to provide them with a break from reality and encourage the fun that they’ve been deprived of
- Watch this space – we predict that brands like Netflix will really jump on this and invest more time and money in building out their worlds to make them as immersive and realistic as possible
- Behind-the-scenes content is what all Gen Zers love and what all brands can provide. Whether it’s getting your influencers to share sneak peeks of their upcoming affiliate posts or sharing behind-the-scenes content from your offices, breaking down barriers and welcoming viewers into your worlds is something that will really resonate with them
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Cover image credit 📸: @daisyjonesandthesix on Instagram