The Youth Lab


What got youth communities talking this week? In this week’s 52INSIGHTS, we share the top topics and take outs from global The Love Network conversations.

What is the Love Network?

The Love Network is our unique global network of 18-35 year olds that we tap into for our work - both strategic and creative (learn more by requesting a one-to-one introduction.)

Here’s the big things we’re listening to, and responding to, from our Love Network this week:

Is Social Media Dead? No, but it’s going through a moment of real upheaval and evolution. This article from Business Insider asks if ‘Social media is dead’, highlighting shifts in online social discourse to more niche community groups and apps reflecting trends we’ve been seeing through The Love Network for some time now.

They want their achievements, failures, and little life moments to be kept sacred. So after a decade of airing our most intimate moments in public, the pendulum is shifting back. People are more selective with their communities…” Sydney Bradley & Amanda Perelli, Business Insider, Aug 30th 2023

Football Goes Fashion: Crystal Palace football team is the first in the Premier League to hire a Creative Director to oversee apparel collections and fashion partnerships. Kenny Annan-Jonathan’s first project will be to launch an autumn/winter apparel collection for the upcoming 2023-2024 season. Chelsea FC also threw back to the ‘90’s this week, releasing their 2023-2024 Nike kit launch with a nostalgia-infused film, taking its cues from the early days of CGI to the delight of their fan communities all over the world.

“Kenny Annan-Jonathan comes from a fashion and design background as well as working within the sports industry beforehand. It’s a no-brainer that as football kits become more of a fashion statement. Football clubs need creative direction, and we’ll see this trend continue as [clubs] grow their fanbase for a younger generation.” Matt, 30, The Love Network

G’bye Summer; Hello Spooky Season: Cultural trends move fast in youth terms, none faster than the transition from summer to fall vibes. An unseasonably warm September has youth audiences seeking out their pumpkin spice lattes while still wearing shorts and tee’s and planning their Halloween outfits.

“I’m in two minds as while I do love the summer, I really love autumn and the chance to get all cosy and spooky. It’s my favourite time of year.” Ciara, 28, The Love Network

We <3 Super Neighbours: Promoting meaningful local connections, a “Super Neighbours” grass-roots movement aims to recast urban living in Paris and other cities around the world through a hyperlocal prism of community and neighbourliness. And it all starts with conversations and cheese…

Up-and-Coming Creative Technology Artist Mention: Creator Emonee LaRussa on Instagram is a great example of rising talent from the online community of creators, bringing human ideas together with creative technology. Check her art out here.

Anti-Greenwashing Pressure Mounts: Fossil fuel corporation’s influencer strategies are heating up community conversations around greenwashing.

ASOS x Kylie Cosmetics Content Fail? ASOS launched their new collab with Kylie Cosmetics in a way which left youth audiences somewhat wryly amused at the apparent similarity to the recent Maybelline AR stunt. The fashion and cosmetics community conversation highlights the importance of both inspiration and originality in branded content creation today.

The Youth Voice rises in Climate Rights and Reports: For the first time, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has explicitly affirmed the children’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, issuing a comprehensive interpretation of Member States’ obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The General Comment No.26 on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change was created in consultation with 16,331 children from 121 countries that took the time to share their views and ideas as part of this community process.

“To me, the General Comment means worldwide change that is necessary as we move forward in fighting environmental issues and take global action in protecting our planet for our generation and the generations to come. It gives children a stronger basis in international law to enforce our Rights to a Healthy Environment. Globally, we are seeing more action for people to protect the environment through Human Rights and GC26 forms an important part of this.” Āniva, 17-year-old climate and child rights activist from the Pacific Islands

In Ireland, the recent National Youth Assembly on Climate’s report was also published - an integral part of the government’s National Dialogue on Climate Action and annual Climate Action Plan.


At a time of real change and evolution in social media, it's clear that community continues to be the core engine for connection irrespective of platform - with doorways of entry and engagement open to brands through shared passions and ideas. Whether your community champions sustainability, fandom, makeup, Halloween, football, local collectives or art; real and authentic community-building and engagement continues to power world-class culture-first work.

CONSIDER SEASONAL COMMUNITY TOPICS: Embrace the changing seasons and consider ways to help audiences be inspired by the changing moments around them - there is a key opportunity for brands to sponsor or support new emerging seasonal rituals like the PSL (pumpkin spice latte!)

LOVE YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY: There is momentum and energy behind the idea that local change can impact lives in so many positive ways. Some great inspiration around this kind of thinking is our recent Supervalu collaboration which champions change that starts at home but ladders up to global impact (read more below!)


Take a look at our latest Sustainability campaign for SuperValu. ‘Local Action, Global Impact’ plays a vital role in the retailer’s commitment to creating real sustainable change by reducing carbon outputs and increasing positive social and environmental outcomes across its value chain. It comes on the back of a €25 million investment by SuperValu and its retailers in sustainability initiatives being rolled out across its stores. Read more and watch the campaign content here.

IMMA’s EARTH RISING Festival - four days of free events and experiences aimed at addressing the climate crisis and inspiring collective action towards a sustainable and hopeful future - is happening in Dublin from 21st-24th September. On 22nd of September there will be two panels of particular interest at the People’s Pavilion:

  1. GOAL NextGen X-Change at 11am will feature young thought leaders and activists from Ireland, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ethiopia - all members of GOAL’s NextGen Youth Programme. Join to get a first hand perspective from young people at the heart of sustainable development conversations.
  2. Purpose Disruptors Ireland at 1.45pm will see a discussion on advertising and climate. There will be an introductory 15 minute screening of the first ever documentary created about advertising and climate change (part of the Good Life 2030 project), followed by a panel discussion exploring the industry’s powerful, evolving role in the climate story. The line up includes speakers working in various Irish advertising agencies including Folk Wunderman Thompson, Droga5, THINKHOUSE and PHD Media, with space for dialogue and debate.

More information here.