Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and ‘Barbie’ are unleashing the spending power of women

By Vanessa Yurkevich | CNN

New York  — It’s the summer of girl power, fueled by Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and “Barbie.”

Millions of people across generations are paying through the nose for these experiences, providing a women-powered boost to the economy.

“I loved going with my family” to Taylor Swift and “Barbie,” said 15-year-old Chelsea Deutsch. “I don’t think I would have rather had it any other way.”

“Barbie” has so far raked in over $1 billion and counting at the box office. Beyoncé’s tour has been such a success, she was blamed for boosting inflation in Stockholm. And the final six nights of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour in Los Angeles are expected to bring $320 million to the city, according to the California Center for Jobs and the Economy.

“Barbie” was distributed by Warner Bros., which is owned by CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.

“I think what we’re seeing right now is that women are not to be underestimated. They lift up economies and that impact is not to be overlooked,” said Kristina Chiapetta, executive strategy director at Landor & Fitch. “But brands haven’t been talking to them in their language for a really long time.”

That oft-unspoken language: authenticity and empowerment.

A positive message

Eleven women and girls from Chelsea’s extended family – spanning ages 12 to 54 – went to see Taylor Swift at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. At least seven have seen “Barbie.”

RELATED: The Taylor Swift Transit Effect: VTA adds more service for ‘Eras Tour’ as other cities see public transit boom

“I think it was nice to be a part of things that had such a girl positive message, which is definitely not the norm. So hopefully, maybe this sparks the turn, and maybe we get to see some more of that,” said Jennifer Deutsch, Chelsea’s mom.

Women control or influence over 80% of consumer spending, Chiapetta says. The secret is how to tap into that.

There are more women than ever in their prime working age in the United States, earning – and spending – a paycheck.

Women’s labor force participation rates have rebounded from the pandemic “she-cession” and returned to pre-pandemic form.

In June, the labor force participation rate for women in their prime working age of 25 to 54 years old hit an all-time high of 77.8%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The rate retreated slightly in July to 77.5% but still remained historically high.

‘I made it happen’

Helen Polise was not going to let two canceled flights stop her from seeing the last Taylor Swift concert in Los Angeles with her daughter Julie.

“Come hell or high water, I was going today. So I made it happen,” said Polise.

Their plans to see Taylor Swift’s Eras tour have been in the works since May: a girl-power weekend, filled with the concert, dinners, outfits, beads, a last-minute first-class ticket and “Barbie.” That all adds up.

“This was so different than anything that we’ve ever done together. So I think I was willing to do whatever it took,” said Polise.

The relatability factor to the women on screen and on stage is part of what makes these women-powered experiences this summer so special, Chiapetta said.

“I think what’s really powerful when you watch the ‘Barbie’ movie or read or listen to Taylor Swift lyrics is it expresses the full multi-dimensional experience of being a woman today. And that’s something that we haven’t seen a lot of when you look at traditional marketing. The way a lot of brands talk to women is in this very one-dimensional way,” said Chiapetta.

Big spending

Some tickets to Swift and Beyoncé are going for over $1,000. That priced some people out and forced others to pony up big bucks.

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