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The Year of the Unicorn

Author: Amanda Hosking

This year a unicorn trend has emerged across the UK. You only need to pop into a high street shop to notice the unicorn themed products or hop onto YouTube to find hundreds of unicorn inspired makeup tutorials. It has taken the UK by storm and shows no signs of stopping!

How Did the Trend Begin?

The trend was unknowingly set off in 2016 by Instagram user and blogger Adeline Waugh. Her blog and Instagram account contain images of beautiful food creations in bright, vibrant colours. In June 2016 Waugh posted some images of rainbow coloured cheese on toast. Soon after followers started to name it “unicorn toast” and the trend began.

rainbow toast                                                                                                                                          Source: Pinterest

The Unicorn Obsession

Shortly after unicorn toast came various other food items including unicorn cakes, cookies, ice cream, noodles, and toasties. Then came the mesmerizing range of drinks such as the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino.

The unicorn trend is extremely visual - think pastel colours, glitter, shimmer, and sparkle. This means it blew up on social media which is highly focused on imagery. The more exposure it accrued on social media platforms, the more popular it became. Instagram and YouTube rock the unicorn trend especially well.

starbucks unicorn frappuccino                                                                                                   Image: Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino. Source: metro.co.uk

After food and drink came beauty. Unicorn beauty tutorials started to arise on YouTube and there are now hundreds available to watch. As you can imagine unicorn make up is bright, pretty, and fun and is highly desired. Unicorn snot body glitter is all the rage and Too Faced ‘Unicorn Tears’ lipstick is constantly out of stock due to the high demand. The world is unicorn mad and we understand why…just look at these!

The limits of this trend seem endless. There is now a range of unicorn themed products in stores and online including cups, cushions, bedding, makeup brushes, bags, pyjamas, slippers, clothing, stationery, and jewellery.

Google Trends shows that the search term ‘unicorn’ reached its peak in April this year, indicating the craze for unicorns in this year. Even though search interest has now decreased, unicorns are still very popular.

unicorn slippers                                                                                                                                          Source: Pinterest


Why is This Trend So Captivating?

There are two explanations: nostalgia and escapism. Millennials see unicorns as nostalgic as they represent part of their childhood. My Little Pony was especially popular in the 90’s and so the love of unicorns began. Pair this nostalgia with social media and the trend explodes.

my little pony                                                                                                                Image: My Little Pony Toy. Source: Pinterest

It is also thought that the admiration of this trend is due to the form of escapism it provides. The unicorn is bright, glittery, and full of pastel colours – this represents fun, freedom, and hope for people. This means they can escape from their own problems and those of the country. We can immerse ourselves into this trend and forget our worries for a while. This is why the trend has lasted so long, plus the nostalgic element.

How Long Will It Last?

We think the unicorn trend is staying put for the time being, at least until the end of the year we predict. People are still in love with the fun, quirky, bright products and it is still current on social media. However, new trends are slowly arising such as the mermaid trend. There has been mermaid toast on Instagram and mermaid brushes being released this year. We see this as the trend to follow on from the unicorn.

mermaid toast                                                                                                                                    Source: metro.co.uk

Unicorns and Marketing

If you haven’t hopped onto the unicorn trend yet, there is still time to do so! The trend is still hugely popular and could make your marketing efforts more appealing. Give it a go and add some fun and sparkle to your marketing.

unicorn products                                                                                                                                     Source: Pinterest