Thinkhouse

Insights

MEMES, MOMENTS & MOVEMENTS BREAKING THE INTERNET

“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Amanda Gorman, youth poet laureate.

First up - a moment for some of the incredible, historic, events that took place in the US this week... Not only did Trump leave the White House (!) - the first female, Black American and Asian American, Kamala Harris, took the office of Vice President of the US, Biden made sure the US rejoined the Paris climate agreement on his first day, and Amanda Gorman was the youngest ever poet to read at the inauguration ceremony. Gorman’s recital captured the hearts and minds of audiences the world over, leading to a worthy internet wave of adulation. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders had an internet breaking moment of his own - this time, for his cozy-casual fashion.

Elsewhere in the online realm, TikTok has been helping youth the world over to manifest a better reality throughout the Covid-19 experience, and 2021 is set to be no different. This 52INSIGHTS edition explores some of the more lighthearted current content trends that are lifting spirits and keeping youth entertained, during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

TIKTOK SEA SHANTIES & MUSICALS

Music on TikTok provided the soundtrack to 2020 - and it just keeps getting better and better. Most of the content on the platform is people getting creative and personalising sound and music combos. One of our favourite recent music TikTok trends is that of the sea shanty. A perfect example of Gen Z humour, it combines song, creativity and personality - the antidote we never knew we needed.

“Everyone’s stuck inside looking for ways to entertain themselves and we’re reverting to the days before the internet - getting creative in a new, unexpected and back-to-basics kind of way. The humour in it is in that juxtaposition between culture. It's a lighthearted and wholesome way to enjoy yourself and you don’t have to be particularly musical.” Ellie, London, TikToker

Nathan Evans is a Scottish TikToker who started singing sea shanties (like this one) on his page. He believes their viral success is down to the fact that everyone can join in singing a shanty. He puts the lyrics in his videos so that people can easily sing along.

“I think it’s the fact that it gets everybody involved, everyone can join in. You don’t necessarily have to be able to sing to join in with a shanty.” Nathan Evans, Scotland, TikToker

Here’s an example of how this comes to life on the app. Gary Barlow and Ronan Keating even got involved. And of course, the remix’s are incredible - here’s one remixed with Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass, this guy adds baritone, and here’s an EDM one.

In other musical TikTok news ‘Ratatouille: The TikTik Musical’ has been credited with cutting through the bleakness of 2020 in serious style. The fan-made and crowdsourced virtual theatre event raised over 2 million dollars (and counting) for The Actors Fund. It was a whole new kind of musical event….

“A ridiculously enjoyable reminder of theatre's best qualities, brought to us in a way that broke the mold, and allowed people to become for the first time ever, not just viewers of a fantastic show, but active participants in musical theatre history.” Broadway World

Read here to find out more about how it all came to be.

HAND DRAWN VISUALS

Another favourite trend we’ve seen in the world of digital creative content, is the surge in the popularity of hand-drawn visuals.

A few examples:

What’s notable is that the results are purposely imperfect - reflecting general sentiment and hunger for real and authentic reactions to world events, in addition to adding layers of humour and light-heartedness to the online experience.

BRAND TAKEOUTS

Original content in the digital space is hugely important to younger cohorts - they can be inspired by something and then take it themselves and twist it to a whole new level or experience. The aural or sound element to this content experience is key to fun and a sense of virtual togetherness - the singalong has officially gone online!

Brands can have creative license to reuse or recycle ideas, trends, and content if they are adding something of value (eg. humour / creativity) to the online experience. To do it right, ensure you take inspiration from young people and creators who are fluent in this language.

The power of humour right now in lifting people out of an everyday groundhog reality can’t be overstated. To get in on the action, speed is paramount. Showing up on TikTok gives you permission to experiment with brand tone and bring out your funny side.

To tap into the conversation around these historic events (like the US inauguration) timing is everything - have your social/ content team prepped and ready to tap into a culturally relevant moment spawned by Internet breaking moments…

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