A year ago, this election season seemed to be tracking relatively normally. We were gearing up for the primaries, the debates, and the campaign trail, and we had no reason to think the 2020 election would feel so radically different from the last.
In Fullscreen’s Summer 2019 Culture Report, we explored the emerging trend of politicians taking a page out of the creator playbook. With Beto O’Rourke’s Instagram Story trips to the dentist and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s regular updates on her gardening adventures, political campaigns became an exercise in relatability and authenticity in order to capture the younger vote. Last year nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials said it was important for politicians to be relatable on social media,* and this year that number has dropped 13%.** Experiencing crisis after crisis in 2020 has drastically shifted the mindset of Gen Z and Millennials of voting age.
A relatable social media campaign isn’t the priority anymore because these generations have moved their focus to matters they deem of utmost importance—fighting for the causes they care about. We surveyed a subset of Gen Z and Millennials, aged 18-37, to find that this year they are voting for issues over people. They’re voting to support causes they feel are not political, but essential to life as we know it. This election season has become about far more than politics for these generations, and turned into the fight of their lives.
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It’s Not Political: Gen Z & Millennials are Fighting for Causes over Campaigns this Election is part of Fullscreen’s Hot Takes from the Cultural Forecasting and Data teams, where we look at trends at the intersection of culture, entertainment, and brand intelligence, giving brands a glimpse of what’s new and next and how to capitalize on these key shifts.
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* Fullscreen Politician TBH Survey (n=523, 18-37-year-olds, May 2019)
** Fullscreen Election TBH Survey 1 (n=375, 18-37-year-olds, July 2020)