What’s Viral This Second, and Why

 

It may be hard to predict what will go viral, but one way to gauge what might have some success with young online audiences is to look at content that has set the web on fire in the past, and try to understand exactly what the appeal was. Playing copycat is not the goal, but if the core of the allure can be replicated, you might have a better chance of hitting it big. Here are some of the things that are going viral as you read this post, and why they might be capturing clicks. 

 

1. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise

This marketing video for the upcoming Carrie remake takes place in a simple coffee shop, has a fairly innocuous name, and reveals that it’s a prank right off the bat—and it has gotten over 17 million views since being posted on YouTube Monday. (Yes, that's just two days ago Monday.) The clip shows the entire set up of the hoax, including the actors involved rehearsing and high-fiving, at its start before showing the reactions of the bystanders in the coffee shop as they witness an angry girl throw a grown man up against the wall through “telekinisis” (a la Carrie, of course).
 
The Appeal: ”Prankvertising” 
Whether due to their exposure to Punk’d during their formative years, or (more likely) because they crave moments of surprise and unexpected excitement, Millennials have a real love for a good old-fashioned prank—or, as the bar continues to be raised, a perfectly executed, high-stakes, special-effects-laden stunt. Entertainers have been taking advantage of this prank-appeal for some time: Jimmy Kimmel regularly racks up views and buzz by encouraging his audience to prank their loved ones in his YouTube challenges, or, in the case of his recent “Twerk Fail” prank, pulling one over on pretty much all of America. It was only a matter of time before pranking…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “The best part about driving is the control of when, how, and where you go. The worst part is that there is a lot of responsibility in your hands, especially if you are with your family.” -Female, 32, TX

We’ve told you before that Millennials are turning to new tools that let them harness their own data for their own personal benefit and enjoyment. The new app Pplkpr (pronounced “people keeper”) does just that, using a combination of tracked body metrics and self-reporting to determine which friends make users happy, and which have a negative impact on them. Using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, the app measures physical response while one is hanging out with friends, learning over time which friends create anxiety, boredom, excitement, and concluding whether or not a friend is toxic. The app’s creators say Pplkpr was created partly as a criticism for the decisions we allow data to make for us, but there is clearly some interest around the idea. (Huffington PostMashable)

Gaming is becoming more and more mobile as major consoles “unplug” from TV. Microsoft has announced that Xbox One players can enjoy gameplay on any Widows 10 device, including tablets and PCs. The announcement “completes the trifecta” of consoles that have taken steps to include off-TV play. Yes, TV screens are biggest, but TV's communal nature is not necessarily appealing to gamers when many games are solitary pursuits. “We’re gravitating towards the personal” and TVs immobility can make it less convenient—in both gaming and entertainment streaming. (Wired

Meet Elena, Disney’s first ever Latina princess. Elena will have her own show on Disney Junior set to air in 2016, and is inspired by "diverse Latin cultures and folklore." Disney announced that a Latina heroine was in the works after some confusion and criticism arose over the ethnicity of the (now extremely popular) character Sofia the First. Though Elena’s premiere is some time off, it is clear that many communities are happy to see Disney embracing diversity in their characters and shows. (BuzzFeed)

YouTube celebrities are getting more than deals for their own web series, TV shows, and movies: the trend of YouTube authors is growing. Although some have questioned the vloggers’ capabilities as writers, recent books published by YouTube stars have seen unexpected successes. Grace’s Heibig’s Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Upeven became a New York Times bestseller. It was just announced that four top YouTubers will even host their own session at BookCon, the largest literary event for authors, publishers, and readers. Justine Ezarik, Shane Dawson, Connor Franta and Joey Graceffa will speak about their new literary efforts with Keywords Press, an Atria Books imprint specially created for online video stars and their fans. (StreamDaily)

Reebok is leaving out celebrity athletes and making everyday young fitness enthusiasts the stars of their new marketing campaign, “Become More Human,” which focuses on the “new brand of athlete.” The first spot features footage of normal people pushing themselves physically, and includes shots of extreme races that Millennials have embraced. The campaign goes beyond commercials with a #BreakYourSelfie Instagram initiative and the “Be More Human Experience,” an interactive website that helps users to compare their physical traits against other members. (The Drum)

Infographics make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. Our Gold and Silver subscribers are given access to our regularly published informative Infographic Snapshots: data visualizations that take our proprietary bi-weekly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. From political stances to social media use to spending, we illustrate how many, how much, and how often, making sure you know exactly where your Millennial target audience stands.
(Ypulse)

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