Many internet platforms have reported an increase in searches for content relating to astrology, well-being and religion. All of this speaks volumes about a growing need to turn to spirituality in times of crisis.
Astrology encourages a sense of control over one’s destiny
A New York Times report in May outlined that data from cultural trends analyst Lucie Greene and analytics firm Comscore showed an increase in online horoscope consultations in the first quarter of the year, while a report in The Lily found that astrologers are reporting a 20-30% increase in website traffic and inquiries.
It is a phenomenon that the internationally renowned astrologer Leslie McGuirk sees as inevitable, arguing that astrological beliefs offer a response to anxiety generated by political, climatic and social tensions. They are increasingly prevalent, now that people are experiencing a need for a sense of control and meaning that has been amplified by the global pandemic.
Even among its detractors, astrology is creating a buzz, with a massive audience for humorous content that mocks it as a pseudoscience on Instagram accounts like @trashbag_astrology and @notallgeminis, which demonstrates the extent to which it is anchored in popular culture.
The internet at the forefront of a global phenomenon
Spiritual gurus were already legion on Instagram. However, the global health crisis has led to a spike in the demand for content of this type. According to India Times’ Economic Times, Rgyan, an Indian application devoted to spirituality, has registered more than 7,000 new users per day since the month of March.
A specialist in shared content focused on meditation and health, the Indian social network ShareChat also reported an increase in religious content in March and April of this year. All of which highlights a resurgence of interest in spiritual topics.
Brands are keen to take advantage of the trend
With Uniqlo IQ, its digital shopping assistant released in Japan in 2018, Uniqlo has already offered users a functionality that allows them to choose clothing based on their daily horoscope.
For its part, French streetwear brand Vetements launched a collection of T-shirts with zodiac prints, which sold at prices that ranged from $116 to $266 (or approx. P5,600 to 10,900).
Let us not forget the Chinese zodiac. Its potential to boost sales has long been instrumentalized by major labels like Levi’s, Diesel, and rag & bone, all of which brought out 2020 capsule collections in honor of the “Year of the Rat”.
Clothing aside, mystic marketing can now be found in even more unexpected places: cosmos playlists on Spotify and astrological recommendations to help you choose beverages at Starbucks. Spiritual content is continuing to boost sales, in particular among Generation Z consumers.
Recently, Twitter also published a report on the most discussed trends on the social network between 2016 and 2019. The analysis of the most popular hashtags showed that well-being is one of the most often addressed themes on the platform. CC
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