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: “When you unplug you notice things around you a lot more. You pay more attention to the details of your everyday life. You get homework done more quickly. You spend more time with people face to face. You're more likely to go outside and relax. You are less stressed from thinking about everything you have to keep up with online.” -Female, 20, NY

We know that Millennials aren’t turning to traditional sources for news: According to Ypulse’s research, most use social media as their top source, and news websites rank above television. Now Millennial media hub BuzzFeed is creating a new app dedicated to delivering serious news stories to its readers, and hiring a team of journalists to work “round the clock.” The app will be a continuation of the site’s efforts to be a credible journalistic source. (AdAge)

The amount that young consumers are spending on vices like alcohol and junk food depends on where they live. 18-35-year olds in the south spend the most on fast food, with more than 40% saying they go to a drive-through at least twice a week, and the least on coffee compared to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, Millennials in Massachusetts are the most likely to be buying booze, followed up by Colorado and New York. (USA

Millennials are changing the way money is managed, and a slew of startups are rushing to cater to their needs and make budgeting, saving, and investing a turnkey, digital part of their lives. The generation controls roughly $2 trillion in liquid assets and will control $7 trillion by the end of the decade. Though college debt will be a “drag” on their net worth, they’re a group of young savers and over the coming years a “torrent of well-educated Millennials” will be “flooding the ‘mass affluent’ market." (Forbes)

Right now, 67% of Millennials do not feel that any show on TV or online accurately represents them. Can that change? Resident Advisors, a new show produced by Elizabeth Banks, will make an attempt by showing a slice of college life. It’s described as a “workplace comedy set is a college dorm,” will feature an ensemble cast, and could have a digital distributor. (Stream Daily)

Apparently there is a hot new trend online. Some teens are lighting themselves on fire (?!) and posting videos of the stunts to Vine and YouTube with the hashtag #FireChallenge. Some attempting the trend have suffered serious burns, and one video called “Fire Challenge Gone Wrong” was followed up by a “cautionary Vine” in which the teen shows the bandages he is now sporting as a result of his injuries. (Daily Dot)

Exactly how much are Millennials spending every day…and what are they buying? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-old Millennials nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased, with spending broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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