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: “Right now, I’m living at home with my parents and completing my education while also working.” –Female, 21, CA

Christmas in September! The toy industry is predicting that 2015 could be the “best year in a decade” and Walmart is getting a jump on the biggest season, starting its Toy Week two weeks earlier than usual. The retailer forecasts the kid-tested toys that will be the biggest sellers, and Star Wars merchandise, food-related toys (for the mini-foodies), and animal themed playthings are all on the list. (MediaPost)

Sensitivity and political correctness are reportedly ruling some college campuses, and some believe that childhood coddling is to blame. Campus rules and guidelines are beginning to instruct avoiding “microaggressions,” small actions or words that are seen as violent or offensive (asking a non-white student “Where were you born,” for example). Some professors are also being asked to use “trigger warnings,” warnings when course material may include violence and abuse that could “trigger” the trauma of a student who experienced something similar in the past. (The Atlantic)

NBC’s American Ninja Warrior has sparked a full on fitness trend. The obstacle course that contestants battle their way through on the show is being replicated in gyms across the country so that anyone can train to be a Ninja Warrior. Some of these gyms have formed a National Ninja League to grow the sport, with Ninja competitions and championships. At the same time, the number of applicants to the show has skyrocketed, going from 5,000 at the end of season 6 to 50,000 at the end of season seven, the most recent. (Racked)

“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea” might soon be the lyrics in a major choreographed stage production. Get ready for The Spongebob Musical! Spongebob Squarepants is coming to Broadway, and a crazy amount of famous musicians are reportedly contributing to the musical score, including Aerosmith, John Legend, and David Bowie. Actors will play the now iconic children’s show characters, with no prosthetics or costumes, and the plot will be an original story that retains the quirkiness of the series. (Mashable)

It feels like a new brand fighting to become the next Chipotle, aka Millennial and teens new fast/fine casual dining favorite, appears every day—and there’s another to add to the list of ones to watch. Indikitch is a fast casual India food eatery that is planning their expansion in Manhattan. They make all-natural GMO-free ingredients a priority, use an assembly-line set-up similar to Chipotle, and pride themselves on non-bland food with spice and heat. (Business Insider)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite store to shop in is The Apple Store. Best store layout i have every experienced. They have the products I want and the expertise to answer any questions.” –Male, 19, VA

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