Joy, Meet Horror

As the year rolls on, we’re full on for the feels

We are halfway through the Year of Joy.

Joy has been studied by TikTok, proclaimed as the Next Frontier of Precision Medicine, and framed as a full “joyconomy.”

Consumers are craving “positive feeds and social circles, showing resilience, innovation, and joy in the face of continued hardship.”

Brands are responding by offering “bold color pallets, positive channels for connectivity, uninhibited play for all ages, and exercise classes that elevate moods and heart rates in one celebratory leap.”

But, joy is not all people want now.

More than ever, people want brands to help them feel intense emotions.

Enter horror—and our collective pursuit of dystopia.

As Stylus stated perfectly: “In the era of polycrisis, consumers seeking both release and thrills from the safe side of the screen are devouring a new wave of terrifying tales and horror influences. American Gen Zers now say horror is their second-favorite entertainment genre.

The most popular shows on US and UK television are darker. #HorrorTok keeps trending. Dystopian fiction is selling.

Much like television trends in late 2001, the sensory joys of the fear factor have returned.

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Brent is a member of the executive team for Opus Agency, partner to world-shaping brands.
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