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 am planning to give an iPhone 6s as a gift for this Valentine’s Day.”

—Male, 31, NY

Almost 2/3 of Millennials block ads online, according to one report, and MediaPost recently spoke to young media consumers to find out why. One 19-year-old wishes for digital ads “that [are] barely noticeable,” and suggests to marketers to “stop any ads that hinder the speed and ease of your browsing.” Another 25-year-old tries to support web sites whose livelihood depends on ad revenue by being “more cognizant of which sites are showing me ads to be obtrusive versus showing me ads to support a valuable, but free, service.” (MediaPost)

2016 started strong for Millennials. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in January, the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low (4.9%), and it was the second best job growth month ever for 25-34-year-olds, with 429,000 jobs added for this group between December 2015 and January 2016. That’s the highest employment growth since January 2000, when the tech bubble was at its peak and 1.166 million jobs were added. This is a positive sign for the generation, who has been severely impacted by the financial crisis.
(Business Insider

Love is in the air and Millennials are pulling out their wallets. A recent study on finance and relationships revealed that 18-34-year-olds are planning to spend an average $290 on Valentine’s Day activities—almost $100 more than older respondents. Millennial men are planning to spend the most, an average of $371. Ypulse’s Valentine’s Day survey found that the 71% of males 13-33-years-old are buying gifts for significant others/spouses, and mom is second on their list. (NerdWallet

Playboy has put some clothes on to attract Millennials. The brand’s makeover includes more tasteful photos and short-form articles, changes meant to improve sales after years of losing “cultural cachet.” Though the internet, and the wide availability of nudity it offers, certainly hurt Playboy’s bottom line, it also may have inspired their demure new approach. A 2014 redesign to make their website “more PG-13” led to a 258% increase in traffic, and lowered readers’ average age from 47 to 30. With most web traffic stemming from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it also makes sense to “play by those networks’ rules”—which means no nudity allowed. (New York Post

Taco Bell’s $5 million secret is out after their big reveal duringthis Sunday’s Super Bowl introduced the world to the quesalupa, “a crunchy quesadilla folded and filled with taco ingredients.” Sound like something you’d want to order? If the answer’s no, it might be because they didn’t make it for you—they’re targeting the next generation. According to the head of the brand’s Insights Lab: “We study gen Z not just because we want to target them, but because we want to get ahead in culture and we want to predict what's going to happen. And also because youth is what our brand DNA is about." (Eater

Quote of the Day: “The issue I am most passionate about is LGBTQ, because in the words of Dr. Seuss ‘A person is a person, no matter how small.’” –Female, 18, KY

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