We’re here to keep you in the loop on the viral content being consumed by young consumers—and why it matters.
The internet is full of short content, and for Millennials and teens, passing that content to friends and sharing it on social platforms is a major part of their behavior. A viral, or even branded, video might not always seem hugely important, but the vast amount of material that they consume and spread through peer groups is significant. It’s their cultural conversation, and it can also tell you something about their views, their mood, or the tone of material that’s resonating with them right now. To keep you in the loop, we’ve got the latest videos you should watch to keep up with it all, plus our thoughts on why they matter.
1. “How would you feel if your son chose this??”
This Facebook video of a dad reacting to his son’s new toy has been viewed over 15 million times in four days. After Mikki Willis’ son received two of the same present for his birthday, they went to the store to exchange one for something else the young guy might like. He happily chose an Ariel the mermaid doll. The video shows his dad explaining the scenario, and asking the question, “Now how do you think a dad feels when his son wants to get this?” The response is a gleeful “Yeah!” from both the son and Willis. Dad continues “I let my boys choose their life.” After going viral, the video ended up on BuzzFeed, who reports that Willis is being called “father of the year.” While there are of course some negative comments on the Facebook post (this is the internet after all) the majority of the response seems to be overwhelmingly positive, with posts like, “Imagine a whole generation growing up with equal acceptance…” and “Thank you for being a damn good example of how to do it RIGHT.”
Why it matters: Not so long ago, the reaction of a dad whose son chose an Ariel doll would not be so positive, and gendered toys are still very much a part of our culture. But many members of the next generation of parents are clearly trying to take a different approach. Target is getting rid of gender labels in their toy aisles, based on feedback from customers, and we continue to see the “rules” of gender being broken for kids being raised today.
2. “Guy annoys girlfriend with puns at Ikea”
Ah Ikea, the land of semi-affordable and attractive furniture and delicious meatballs that can instantly turn into a landmine of fights for any visiting couple. The store has become synonymous with relationship strife for Millennials, which might be part of the allure of this viral video, in which a boyfriend spends an entire trip annoying his girlfriend Donna with endless puns involving the notorious Swedish product names. The video, posted by the boyfriend (who says the two just moved in together) has been viewed over 3.5 million times since August 13th. An Ikea spokesperson responded to the video, telling Digiday, “Ikea loves it when people enjoy themselves in our stores during their shopping experience, we know people have fun with our unique names and we try not to take ourselves too seriously.”
Why it matters: Brands are inevitably going to be involved in some of the content being created by young consumers—whether they like it or not. Embracing that creativity and, yes, not taking yourself too seriously, is key. But the smartest brands will find ways to spotlight the content in question and celebrate their inclusion.
A few weeks ago, we spotlighted a new invention making prosthetics fun for disabled kids. The IKO Creative Prosthetic System incorporates LEGOs into prosthetic arms, giving kids who wear it the chance to change up their hands for creative, playful items. Now another prosthetics story is getting attention, thanks to “Isabella” a video that’s been viewed almost 500,000 times since August 20th. In the video, a young girl with one arm is given the gift of a 3D printed “E-nable” hand. E-nable is a “A Global Network Of Passionate Volunteers Using 3D Printing To Give The World A “Helping Hand,” and one of their members personally delivered Isabella her new pink and purple arm. Her excitement is clear, and she immediately begins to experiment with picking up small toys in the video.
Why it matters: Tear-jerker content will ALWAYS have legs with consumers online, especially when it feels authentic and has a larger purpose. But the other takeaway from this video is the kind of social good that some brands might not even be aware of—3D printing prosthetics might not be the first cause that a brand thinks to get behind, but the intersection of technology and social good is here, and there are amazing stories to be told along with it.