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: “Video game soundtracks have been present throughout my life.” –Male, 32, IN 

Snapchat says that 60% of American youth are users of their platform, and they have some major plans for the future. (Note: Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker actually found that 40% of 13-32-year-olds and 52% of 13-17-year-olds use the app.) Twenty-four-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel believes that teens and Millennials will make Snapchat the future of media, and mobile content will replace traditional TV. (The VergeBloomberg)

A recently discovered Google patent hints that the tech giant could one day create toys that can react to children’s voices, and record what they say. The digital/cuddly playthings could also physically respond to information with head tilts and different expressions. Some are calling the concept “creepy,” but our top toy trends of 2015 included several products that monitor and have conversations with children, including the new Hello Barbie. (Campaign)

The debate around cell phones in classrooms continues, and new research is weighing on the side of teachers and parents who want them banned. A working paper suggests that removing cell phones from schools results in an increase in academic performance, especially amongst the lowest-performing students. New York City Mayor DeBlasio recently lifted the cellphone ban in schools, in part because children were paying local adults to store their phones each day. (NYMag)

We’ve told brands about the importance of marketing on visual platforms, and those who do should take note: filtered photos are significantly more liked than #nofilter shots. A recent study found that filtered photos are 45% more likely to be commented on, and that people prefer high contrast, warm temperature filters. Filter judgment from more serious photographers is also fading as mobile has become the most ubiquitous picture-taking method. (Wired)

The Millennial Trains project is making its third voyage, carrying innovative members of the generation on a rail tour across the U.S. The participants are young entrepreneurs who share their ideas on how to change the world along the ride, which includes meetups, interviews, and other experiences to help them develop their concepts. This group includes a doctoral student studying nutritional programs for obese children, and a postdoc working on a project to keep the elderly more safe. (Fast Company)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our monthly survey data, 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)

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