As we bid adieu to 2014, the BridgeWorks crew wants to pay homage to a few key moments from this past year that captured the attention of each generation. Here are some of the pivotal moments of 2014 as seen through a generational lens.
- International superstar Sofia Loren turned 80 this year and revealed one of Hollywood’s biggest secrets. In a Vanity Fair interview, Loren explained what inspired her infamous side-eyed stare to actress Jane Mansfield at a Paramount Pictures party in 1955. Turns out we were right all along, and Traditionalists’ curiosity is sated at long last!
- Earlier this year the nation mourned the loss of one of the most beloved child actresses of all time, and a Traditionalist icon, Shirley Temple. Audiences will always remember her dimpled cheeks and sweet nature (probably while humming “Good Ship Lollipop”).
- We all said a tearful goodbye to Boomer Robin Williams, an actor and comedian that had a unique ability to connect with every generation. Xers and Millennials may remember his iconic performances in Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, and Aladdin, but Baby Boomers came of age right along with Williams. They watched him evolve and were with him from the very start, laughing at his stand-up comedy beginnings and first starring role as Mork on Mork & Mindy.
- PBS released The Boomer List to celebrate the youngest Boomers turning 50. The documentary examines the profound mark Boomers have left on society through in-depth interviews with 19 influential Boomers. Other generations… prepare to watch and thank a Boomer afterward.
- Every Xer remembers the friction and fearful years during the Cold War and the exhilaration when it finally ended in 1991. This past year ushered in some deja-vu as tensions between Russia and the West rapidly escalated. Though a misnomer, many have whispered the reignited feeling that the Cold War is back.
- The grunge-wearing, Nirvana-listening, Madonna-adoring MTV generation of “slackers” just had their last under-50 year. The oldest Xer will turn 50 in 2015… but who’s counting?
- ’90s fashion made a HUGE comeback in 2014. We saw everything from Doc Martins to funky bantu knots, overalls, chokers, high-waisted denim, midriff tees… and even fanny packs. Yes, fanny packs. Cue the Xer nostalgia!
- The upgrade cycle continued this past year with more complex and cumbersome iPhone 6s and 6 Plus’s, Smartwatches, and the influx of home-made 3D printers. The generations raised on this cycle couldn’t be more adaptable.
- Millennials are the generation championing the phrase instilled into them by their Boomer parents, “Do something that matters.” Millennials were quick to join the slew of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge activists. It was a worthy cause that raised $115 million dollars for an under-researched disease and many praised Millennials for their enthusiasm to create change. Others criticized Milllennials’ enthusiasm as an example of their “slacktivism.”
- Crowdsourcing took center stage as a man raised $50K through Kickstarter for America’s favorite side dish—the sometimes pleasant and other times sickening potato salad. The success of this campaign perfectly exemplifies Millennial attraction to a good story, novelty, and a solid dose of internet humor.
- Gender norms continued to bend in 2014 when GoldieBlox entered the market. The company began with a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a toy that would get girls excited about engineering. Their success represents a big shift in marketing to youth.
- Malala Yousafzai, at just 17 years old, was again nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and became the youngest person to ever receive it. This women’s rights and children’s rights activist represents a new kind of teen role model for Gen Edgers to look up to.
Overall, 2014 marked a tremendous year. There were serious highs and lows, and we at BridgeWorks kept our fingers on the pulse. Hopefully, the moments shared in this blog strike a generational chord with everyone. Now let’s go make 2015 the best one yet with some Traditionalist neighborly-ness, Boomer optimism, Gen Xer entrepreneurialism, Millennial hyper-speed, and Gen Edger self-reliance. Onward, ho!