At 17, ‘Drivers License’ Singer Olivia Rodrigo Is the Ultimate Gen Z Style Star — Here’s Why Brands Should Be Paying Attention

You may not know Olivia Rodrigo yet, but you will. The Disney star is quickly rising to the top as her debut single, “Drivers License,” continues to break records. The viral hit is a hot topic as fans continue to speculate what the song is about and it may have something to do with her “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” co-star. But, the supposed love triangle drama is not why we are here.


♬ drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo

Rodrigo, 17, is the epitome of Gen Z style, and is the type of influencer brands should be targeting right now. With more than 5.5 million Instagram followers and counting, she is a brand’s dream as she engages with her fellow Zoomers on a regular basis.

Wearing Converse, Dr. Martens, Vans and clothing from Urban Outfitters, Rodrigo represents the new consumer culture. She’s often seen in affordable looks or sporting sustainable designers. Plus, like her Gen Z cohorts, she is more vocal than many celebrities on the rise when it comes to her political and social views. She interviewed Joe Biden’s grandaughter Maisy Biden in October to encourage young people to vote in the recent presidential election (even though Rodrigo herself is only 17), for example.


I had the best time talking to Maisy Biden about voting and her grandpa Joe! If you haven’t voted yet, go to Iwillvote.com to make a plan to do so!❤️

♬ original sound – Olivia Rodrigo

According to 5W Public Relations 2021 Consumer Culture Report, these socially-minded Gen Z consumers, such as Rodrigo, boast a combined spending power of $150 billion. Meanwhile, the Sport Leisure category is extremely important to the Gen Z consumer. It makes up almost 45% of sales for shoppers ages 13-24, compared to just over one-third for other ages combined, says The NPD Group’s Consumer Tracking Service.

While Rodrigo’s hit record “Drivers License” continues to peak at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, she is proving her commercial appeal outside of music.

After she launched the new music video for “Drivers License” with an Instagram announcement two weeks ago, for instance, that post generated a total of $685,000 Media Impact Value, according to marketing platform Launchmetrics. The company’s algorithm provides brands with a unified currency to measure the value of all marketing activities by assigning a monetary amount to every post, interaction and article.

In terms of media coverage around Rodrigo and her song, “Drivers License,” from Jan. 8 to Jan. 15, she then generated a total of $9.8 million in Media Impact Value (with $8.3 million coming from social media and $1.5 million from online media).

Since then, her social following continues to grow.

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