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: “The combination of recommendations from friends and online reviews really helps me determine my purchases.” –Male, 31, IA

Last year, many (okay most) of the stories about the fast-food industry struggling to understand and attract young consumers focused on McDonald’s and their Millennial challenge. The generation has been accused of “killing” the fast food brand, thanks to their fresher food preferences. But according to Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s remains the most visited restaurant for the generation while Chipotle made 11th on the list. While some are saying this implies Millennials are reluctant to admit to how much they are visiting the chain, we would point out that McDonald’s first place position doesn’t make it their preference, and the chain’s enormous footprint compared to newer competitors is likely influencing the frequency of their visits. (Business Insider)

Young consumers’ nostalgia cycle is shorter than ever, and the desire to look back at recent memories with rose-tinted glassesis driving their tech and sharing behavior, leading to the popularity of apps like Timehop. Facebook’s new “On This Day” feature accommodates this trend, and competes with other popular platforms. The new tool will show users their own Facebook posts and photos from the same date in previous years, providing a feed of status updates, photos, and posts from the past that they can then (re)share. To ensure that only positive content is provided, an algorithm will filter out ex-lovers and avoid displaying memories of those who’ve passed away. (TechCrunch)

Chat apps are the new social media. For Millennials and teens around the world, messaging platforms like Kik, WhatsApp, and Line have become a vital part of communicating with friends, sharing the world around them, and constantly staying in the loop. They’re also becoming a big space for brands, and Disney can thank the Line network’s reach of 500 million users for making their game Tsum Tsum a major mobile hit. Tsum Tsum is a simple, cute-overload-looking puzzle game that has earned $300 million in revenue since last July, a feat Disney says it “couldn’t have done that without Line’s social network.” (GameIndustry.biz)

Starting this week, Millennial news site Mic is joining other digital publications like BuzzFeed and Vox and rolling out its own video series, “Flip the Script,” to provide socially conscious, catchy, and quick clips that expound on some articles on the site. Mic’s aim is “to be the most important brand in news for our generation,” targeting college educated readers around 28-years-old. The site is taking a different approach to ads in their new video content, selling sponsorships rather than including pre-rolls. We’ve warned brands that in the age of ad A.D.D digital marketing will need to evolve to adjust to young consumers' attention spans, and Mic’s approach is an indication of the new mentality. (Ad Age)

What happens when a homeless witch meets an amnesiac enchanted statue? The creators of the indie animated seriesThe Book of MOJO want us to find out. Alchemy Engine is a team of former DreamWorks and Pixar animators currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo to make The Book of MOJO pilot, which they hope will help push boundaries in animation by including more diverse characters. A teaser trailer for the show earned them kudos from viewers who were excited that the heroine is a person of color, and Alchemy Engine has declared they want to “tell stories featuring characters that ... are under-represented in animation.” (IndieGogoHitFix)

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 monthly survey of 1000 13-32-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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