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…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “This year for Halloween I’m going to watch cooking theme shows like Halloween Wars.” –Female, 15, TX 

Millennials are clearly disenchanted with politics. When a recent poll asked who they blame the “political gridlock” in Washington on, 56% of 18-29-year-olds said “all of them.” These young consumers are also more likely to volunteer than to vote in the midterm elections. Interestingly, of the small percentage who say they definitely will vote, 51% said they would vote Republican, versus 47% who said they would vote Democrat. (The Atlantic)

It seems that more kids than ever have allergies these days, and for these ingredient-sensitive children, trick-or-treating can be less fun. (Imagine handing over the majority of your candy at the end of the night? No thanks.) This year, The Teal Pumpkin Project is campaigning to raise awareness about these allergies: houses displaying a teal pumpkin signal to trick-or-treaters that nonfood treats are being handed out. Since launching on Facebook earlier this month, the campaign has “reached more than 5.5 million people and been shared 55,000 times,” and over 2,000 pictures on Instagram have been tagged #TealPumpkinProject. (Inc.)

R.L. Stine’s scary Goosebumps and Fear Street series delighted and terrified tons of ‘90s kids, and the author has given these nostalgic consumers a Halloween treat. For the third year in a row, Stine has written an entirely new horror story on Twitter in a series of 15 tweets. The story, “What’s In My Sandwich,” has spread far beyond his 134,000 followers, and is being reposted around the web. (JezebelBuzzfeed)

Marketing on visual social platforms—Snapshot Marketing— has very quickly become an essential way to reach young consumers, and now it’s being put in motion: as of today, Instagram video ads are live. Disney, Activision, Banana Republic, the CW, and Lancome are the first brands to purchase these 15-second auto-display spots on the network. Disney and Activision are both featuring clips from recent entertainment, while Banana Republic has utilized Hyperlapse to create a clip animating fashion sketches. Meanwhile, Snapchat sold its first video ad to Universal this month for the movie Ouija, which went on to win at the box office thanks to teens. (Adweek)

Since launching in 2011, Hello Giggles has not only earned 12 million unique views a month and a very healthy social following, it has also become "an incubator for young talent.” The site emphasizes positivity and girl power, and has built a community of over 600 young female writers, journalists, and creatives who both submit work to the site and support it on Instagram and Twitter. Giggles serves as somewhat as a resume for these women, many of whom have not yet entered the workforce. (Fast Company)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies