Unicorn Frappuccino Madness on The Viral List

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Starbucks’ highly-anticipated, Instagram-ready Unicorn Frappuccino takes over feeds and baristas' nightmares, van living has been trending on social media, another teen’s Spotify playlist has started a trend, and more things going viral right now…

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingUnicorn Frappuccino Takeover

Inspired by the viral unicorn trend, Starbucks’ latest Instagram-ready concoction has made quite the impression this week. The Unicorn Frappuccino, an “insanely colorful, magical” drink, was launched as a limited-time offering earlier this week, causing consumers to start “freaking out.” Its “highly-photogenic” appearance makes it “tailor-made” for social media, and there are currently over 100,000 Instagram postings under the hashtag #unicornfrappuccino. Tales from unprepared Starbucks employees on the popularity of the drink are also going viral, with one Twitter rant—that has since been taken down—garnering over 1,500 retweets and over 3,000 likes.

Update: The frappuccino is now going viral for being used as a pregnancy announcement 

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingThe #VanLife Movement

Who would have ever guessed that living in a van down by the river would be something to aspire to? The #VanLife social media movement showcases young people who have abandoned 9 to 5 careers to pursue their passions by way of road tripping/van living—while documenting the entire experience, of course. The hashtag has generated over 1.3 million posts on Instagram, and one #VanLife couple, Emily King and Corey Smith of @WheresMyOfficeNow, regularly receive thousands of likes on each post, allowing them to make a living off of sponsored deals. They say the viral lifestyle was spurred by the recession: “We heard all these promises about what will happen after you go to college and get a degree…all that turned out to be a bunch of bullshit. I think there’s…


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Quote of the Day: “Being famous is overrated. I would be more happy [sic] being locally known for the good I do in the world in a popular way but not for the wrong reasons.”—Female, 16, UT

Minecraft is being used to get kids interested in reading actual, real books. Litcraft recreates the world of a book as an interactive Minecraft map, adding “educational tasks” throughout. Treasure Island was the first completed world, followed by Kensuke's Kingdom, while The Lord of the Flies and Dante’s Inferno are in the works. Trials at U.K. schools are being met with “an enthusiastic response,” so Litcraft is eyeing a larger rollout. (The Guardian)

Nordstrom is stocking up on Instafamous brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and Reformation. The company announced that “strategic” brands account for about 40% of their current revenue and that’s expected to rise. While they benefit from indie brands’ popularity with young consumers, the direct-to-consumer brands are getting an expanded physical footprint, too. In the case of Reformation, Nordstrom explains that they “can bring sustainable fashion to a new (and much bigger) group of customers and closets.” (Business Insider)

A baseball team struck out with their “Millennial Night” promotion, putting Twitter in an uproar. We’ve warned brands that making fun of Millennials is not the way to get earn their spending power, and minor league baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits learned the lesson first-hand. Their “Millennial Night” offered participation ribbons, selfie stations, napping areas, and “lots of avocados,” while playing into stereotypes about Millennials being lazy. A Biscuits exec explains that “Something got lost in the sarcasm,” but instead of offering an apology, they doubled down with another cutting tweet. (AdweekInc.)

Nearly half of Millennials think that “their credit scores are holding them back.” OppLoans found that 27% of 18-34-year-olds haven’t been approved for a new car because of their credit while 25% have been declined for an apartment or house. Debt, a top financial concern for Millennials, is partly to blame: 15% said that their debt “is unmanageable.” Education could help dig them out of the hole, as 24% feel they’ve never learned how to build good credit. (Moneyish)

Baby Einstein is growing up for Millennial parents with a new mission and campaign. Their “Ignite a Curious Mind” effort goes after parents, not kids, with short spots that encourage curiosity. They’re also working on new toys, moving beyond their “sweet spot” of zero to 12 months for toddlers. Baby Einstein’s parent company, Kids II is also planning on reworking other brands, like Bright Starts and Ingenuity. (Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[American Eagle Outfitters’] clothes are generally what I wear and are my style. They're comfortable and affordable. They do not do a great deal of vanity sizing and offer something for guys and girls of every size.”—Female, 23, GA

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