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: “I like shopping at Trader Joe’s, because it’s a fun alternative to the usual chain supermarkets to pick up specialty items that are tasty.”—Male, 33, MD

This year’s Olympics will be the most social yet—thanks to the digital generation. According to a study, Facebook will be the leading platform adults use converse during the event, but 35% of 18-24-year-olds and 19% of 25-34-year-olds plan to use Snapchat to share Olympic content. Compared to other age groups, Millennials will be two times more interested in human-interest stories and meme-worthy moments during the event. (Business Wire

Promposals aren't just a viral trend, they are now the most expensive prom cost for some. A study by Visa Inc. has found that an American household spends an average of $324 on promposing, and parents are increasingly footing the bill: In 2015, parents paid for up to 73% in of prom costs, up from 56% in 2014. Companies like The Heart Bandits are cashing in on the trend by charging upwards of $1000 to plan promposals, and brands are as well: Men’s Wearhouse Inc. declared March 11th promposal day on social media to sell tuxes for the occasion. (Bloomberg

Gap Inc. has launched a new athleisure line for children ages six to 14, bringing the high-fashion workout trend to the pre-teen set. Athleta Girl, an extension of the activewear brand Athleta, is categorized by activities like “run,” ”yoga and studio,” and “swim.” According to the fitness brand, the label was in demand: “A girls’ line is something our customers have been asking for. Girls today want to dress sporty. They are living more active lives.” Marketing and design for the line is leaning on girl power, with graphic tees showing off slogans like "Dream crazy big." (JezebelRacked)

As esports continues to grow, brands are figuring out to how to tap into the potential marketing goldmine. This year the global esports market will make $463 million, and will reportedly rake in $1.1 billion in 2019. Brands have begun sponsoring teams by adding their logos to players’ jerseys or hats, but they could potentially expand to leagues in the future. The key to effective branding will be “genuinely offering something new or valuable to the audience.” (VentureBeat)  

Can a brand create online influencers? In an approach that could be described as “reverse influencer marketing,” Mars is attempting to revive the classic candy bar 3 Musketeers with young consumers through a digital-only campaign featuring the “Musketeens”—three unknowns they want to turn into YouTube stars. The teens look and act like established YouTube influencers, and have been able to garner 400,000 video views. But the response has been split, with a large portion of users calling out the videos as annoying ads. (Digiday

Quote of the Day: “I consider luxury items as something that is nice to have, but that I can also live without.”—Female, 23, FL

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