Discovery and Universal Pictures Join Will Packer Media to Reach the New American Mainstream


Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures are partnering with Hollywood producer Will Packer on a new branded content company, Will Packer Media, focused on the New American Mainstream audience.

will packer

“We have put together a dream team of the best talent and partners to help us create bold and fresh content for audiences hungry for something special,” said Packer. “We are creating a new model for content production that sees TV and digital as equals, and combines the best of storytelling and brands for an underserved audience.”

Packer’s films are box office titans, earned more than $1 billion, with nine opening at number one.His work includes the Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises, The Wedding Ringer, Stomp the Yard, and the recently released Girls Trip,  and he served as an executive producer on the $203 million-grossing Straight Outta Compton.

Packer’s fans are, by-and-large, urban millennials—largely Hispanic, African-American and Asian. They represent the changing face of today’s consumer,thus “The New American Mainstream”.

At the head of the pack are Hispanic consumers in the U.S. and beyond:

Pop culture icons Tricia Clarke-Stone and Russell Simmons co-founded Narrative in 2013, an agency focused on storytelling for the “new American mainstream.”

“For us, it’s about going beyond stories told to stories experienced,” said Clarke-Stone, CEO of Narrative.  “And usually how we’re able to do that is by leveraging technology and culture.”

For Showtime’s Billions, Narrative created a Kickstarter campaign for the show’s fictional company, Axe Capital, and solicited ideas for Showtime to fund real-life entrepreneurs via the platform.

To promote a signature shoe by Under Armour and Stephen Curry, Narrative created a wearable, Bluetooth-equipped “Fan Badge” that alerts fans when their favorite player does something notable. The Badge is patent pending.

The “New American Mainstream” was referenced in 2015 in the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council’s quarterly digital magazine PeerSphere, emphasizing, “the need for marketers to have a multicultural strategy in place that is prioritized and adopted across the organization in order to ensure consistent and relevant experiences that build loyalty and advocacy with ethnic consumers, who now represent some $1.2 trillion in annual purchasing power.”

“By 2050, it is projected that 49 percent of the total population in the U.S. (some 200 million people) will be of ethnic descent.”

In 2014 the PBS documentary America by the Numbers—re-released in 2016 with updated data—focused on the significant demographic shifts in the country and the new American mainstream influencing all aspects of life today from politics to culture to commerce.

Natasha D. Smith researched the changing demographics of mainstream America in 2015, highlighting women, younger people and minorities, in a pitch to advertisers to include diversity marketing.

1. Wages are trending upward for women and downward for men in the U.S.‚ however women still make only about 80 cents on the dollar compared to what a white male earns. Women of color earn just 65 cents for every dollar. (Pew Research Center)

2. Young women today are the first in modern history to start their work lives at near parity with men. In 2012, among workers ages 25 to 34, women’s hourly earnings were 93% those of men. By comparison, among all working men and women ages 16 and older, women’s hourly wages were 84% of men. (Pew Research Center)

3. About 3.8% of adults in the United States (approximately 9 million people) identify as LGBT. (Williams Institute)

4. 43% of Americans with more than $500,000 in assets are female, and women make 85% of brand purchases, yet just 3% of advertising creative directors are women. (She-conomy)

Turns out “mainstream” is a malleable definition that keeps changing with the times.