A look at the trends shaping culture this week from Ayzenberg Jr. Strategist of Cultural Science Ashley Otah.


Game on. Warner Bros. Games has officially announced “MultiVersus,” a platform fighter game that allows iconic characters and worlds to collide like never before. The free-to-play game follows a similar pattern of collaboration where previously there might have been pushback (i.e., Gucci x Balenciaga). The intertwining of complex stories and brands leaves a promising future for the next generation of collaboration.


Meaningful move into mental health. Nike unveils a new content series, titled “Nike Mind Sets,” that will live within training apps and clubs. The series aims to focus on how you feel—not what you achieve—and follows an uptick in brands foraying into the mental health and wellness space. While much-needed, consumers hope for these efforts to be made authentically and transparently.


All things audio. Spotify announced its plans to acquire audiobook platform Findaway, its partnership with Musixmatch to offer lyrics, and its addition of active listening experiences. The audio streaming service continues to make its platform accessible and all-consuming. The frontrunner with the future of audio in mind is showcasing that democratization across entertainment spaces is top of mind for many.


Taking the top spot. Citing funnier and more positive content young Americans are taking to TikTok more than Instagram, according to Forrester’s survey. While Instagram and other social platforms have begun incorporating TikTok-like features and incentivizing short-form content to rival the billion monthly active users behemoth, it is becoming increasingly clear that TikTok is rewiring user behavior and creating a unique experience.


Thinking critically and creatively. 50% of Gen Z respondents cite mental health as the main creative distraction during the pandemic; 60% are thinking of switching jobs in the next six months; and 75% of Gen Z respondents believe brands should commit to climate, racial, and social justice issues. WeTransfer’s Fourth Annual Report tracks important trends facing the global creative workforce. Among its top finding are those fired up and ready to make a change, although citing mounting pressure. The study showcases a shifting worldwide landscape and gives an insightful forecast for the future.