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: “Political correctness is voicing your beliefs but not at the expense of other's identities.”—Female, 15, NY

Young consumers are putting their trust in YouTube. The video platform may feel be “feeling the pressure” from Facebook and Snapchat, but 36% of 18-35-year-olds in the U.K. say they would trust a product review on YouTube over any other media, according to a study from MCN BuzzMyVideos. About 31% trust a magazine review, and only 18% say they trust TV, signifying that for brands putting ad dollars into online video is a smart move, especially since Millennials are spending more time watching videos weekly than they did two years ago, and over half are watching more than six hours per week. (StreamDaily)

For “shacked-up” Millennials, food is a factor in the relationship. A new study from housewares company Moshells revealed that for 18-30-year-old co-habitating men, the biggest “hardship” is having to share food with their partner, and Millennials look for “healthy food in the fridge” when scoping out a romantic interests’ home. The biggest lifestyle change for co-habitating young consumers is spending less time online. That change may be even more disorienting for Millennial men: according to 2014 Nielsen data, Millennial men spend two hours more per week watching videos online than Millennial women, and are spending one more hour weekly listening to online music. (Vocativ

Marriott has created an Innovation Lab Hotel to test concepts designed with Millennial and teen travelers in mind. Throughout their stay at the feedback-focused property, hotel guests can provide thoughts on features like digital check-in with instant-review technology, which allows them to give a thumbs up or thumbs down at every step. Concepts currently being featured at the hotel—like studio workout classes taught by local instructors and permanent spaces for local restaurants and businesses—were inspired by past feedback from Marriott visitors that showed young travelers desire unique, local, and social experiences. (Fast Company

The student has become the teacher in the workplace. Companies are increasingly using “reverse mentoring” to tap into their Millennial employees, and teach older generations tech skills like using social media and crowd sourcing. Target has recently partnered with Techstars—a group that teams up tech startups with large corporations—to teach their leaders how startup employees work in a fast-paced environment, and “scrappily to get things done.” Experts have also indicated the practice helps diminish the negative stereotypes that can plague Millennial employees within their companies. (Ypulse also recommends and facilitates co-mentoring, which gives all generations a chance to learn something.) (Fortune

YouTubers are “creating a new breed of shows” for their generation. Inspired by traditional TV programming and the show Top Gear, a group of British YouTubers are “rethinking some of traditional TV’s big genres” by creating content that “holds up a mirror to their youthful online audiences.” Cooking channel SortedFood (1.6 million subscribers) celebrates the different recipes that can correspond to one dish, and football channel Copa90 (1.2 million subscribers) wants to focus on “fan culture rather than chasing match rights.” The channels continually follow their audiences on social media to ensure followers have a “developmental role.” (The Guardian)

Quote of the Day: “I like Netflix because it helps to pass the time, especially when I'm doing something boring such as folding clothes.”

—Female, 16, IL

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