Is the Hipster Culture Dying?

Leslie Lin is a UX intern.

Throughout every minute detail of brand messaging, companies work to keep all aspects of an “ad” consistent – within their own platform as well as that of their audience. A good example of this is Amazon’s first ad for its Fire Phone.

The ad utilizes two adorable children, dressed as “hipsters.” They discuss the phone and identify one of its perks: leslie1after purchasing the phone, you receive a full year of free videos and games from Amazon Prime.

Although the product and benefits are interesting in themselves, what truly caught my attention were the two kids. The brand was aiming to create a focal point around hipster culture, and I began to wonder, is being a hipster still relevant in today’s society? Or has it simply become a very basic and approachable concept to everyone, similar to an Amazon phone?

As I mulled over these thoughts, I remembered an article I recently read in the Guardian. Hipster culture is evolving. Some people even say it is dying.

In the recent past, many brands aimed to make their products relatable to the ‘popular’ hipster culture. This culture in itself maintains its own specific brand, therefore it was thought to be very beneficial to associate with. Brands can even use ‘hipster’ content in order to make their products look more unique, without having a stronger personal statement past that. In the article, it explains how everyone is looking to be unique. However, through this, everyone seems to do and act the same ways in the efforts of being unique. In the end it is always more about wanting to belong. The hipster culture is a perfect example of this. As more people joined the ‘hipster’ culture to seem different leslie2and interesting, the more mainstream it became. It seems now ‘hipster’ is truly losing its power and unique message.

As the culture becomes mainstream from brands like American Apparel or the TV show Girls, hipster become a formalized term. Even a major, more traditional brand such as Amazon is making their ads accustomed to the hipster culture. So what will be the next big word? It is obvious that hipster is no longer the alternative, indie culture it once was.

Some people say “normcore” will be the next big thing. From being different to indifferent, the Guardian says “Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity that opts into sameness.”

Maybe next year’s Amazon ads will feature two children wearing plain t-shirts and sneakers.


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