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: “I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because most of the ready-made options for women are overly sexualized.” –Female, 19, TX

She's a Barbie girl, but it's not exactly a Barbie world. It’s been a hard year for the blondest toy, as we’ve detailed before, and sales of the doll have continued to fall, dropping another 21% in the third quarter of this year. American Girl doll sales also dropped during that time period, and the struggles highlight how the “affections of the target audience—little girls—can be fleeting.” But there are plenty of other potential reasons for Barbie’s tough times: Girls today want edgier dolls, and spend more on tech toys. (Huffington PostBusiness Insider

If done right, young consumers have proven they will continue to buy tickets to see superheroes on screen, and there are a lot more of these movies in the works. This week, Warner Brothers announced plans for 10 new DC comics superhero movies over the next five years, including Wonder WomanAquaman, and The Flash. A movie featuring Lego Batman is also being fast-tracked for next year, so kids and adults alike can look forward to another fix of awesome. (Wired)

It’s 13 days until Halloween, and this year could be the most costume-filled holiday ever. A recent survey has shown that over two thirds of Americans plan to buy a costume, the most in eleven years. The fact that Halloween falls on a Friday has likely been a factor in the boost. Ypulse’s own most recent bi-weekly survey found that 36% of 13-32-year-olds plan to don in a costume to celebrate, 30% of those who plan to dress up will buy a pre-made costume, while 54% say they will purchase some items to make a costume of their own. (Ad Age)

MAC cosmetics is creating an entirely new kind of store that will target today’s teens and tweens. The stores will be designed completely differently to appeal to the younger consumers, including a “major focus on selfies” and a table full of products to sample on the spot. When explaining the new approach, global brand president Karen Buglisi Weiler told WWD, “One store doesn't fit all…You have to be in the world of customization and relevancy now." The first location opened over the summer in Orlando, and is reportedly already one of MAC’s top five stores in North America. (Racked)

Some of the hottest tech startups today are part of the “photo economy.” Millennials and teens have made their penchant for visual communication clear, and helped to make multiple photo sharing apps into huge success stories. Now entrepreneurs are fighting into the space with photo apps that put an emphasis on “storytelling, shopping, and storage.” Competition is tough, and so far the many startups that have tried to make photos shoppable have not succeeded. But still clearly the apps to know next will likely have something to do with this picture-obsession. (Fast Company)

Did you know that thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-olds nationwide, we track trends in social media, entertainment viewing, earnings, spending, and more? Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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