May 17, 2023

March Madness, April Fools and more memes of you know who

Date & Time (GMT):
May 17, 2023 12:47 PM
Date & Time (EST):
May 17, 2023 12:47 PM

The Moments Matrix is a guide to what’s trending on the world’s leading social media sites. Find out what’s going viral and what's here to stay across mainstream and niche topics.

This week's matrix has been compiled by Nichefire.

Main Matrix_ 11 April 2023

Image by: The Social Intelligence Lab    

Mainstream x Here to Stay_ 11 April 2023

US and Chinese relations continue to escalate
US House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, recently announced he will be visiting Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen. As a result, this has sparked China's ire. This news cycle will subside, but the escalating tension between the US and China is raising concerns and could have long-term effects. We don't see tensions easing any time soon and we'll likely see more news regarding Chinese and US relations in the near future.
Data Source: News/media, Google

US Government steps in on transgender representation in sports
US President Joe Biden announced a rule change to Title IX that could allow schools to transgender athletes' participation in sports but also prevent outright bans on participation. The news itself we don't see as sticking around, but the conversation around trans athletes and their representation in sports has been hotly debated. Transgender rights is among one of the most prominent topics and this topic on trans representation in sports has skyrocketed in interest since February. And now, the US government is taking a stance on the issue.
Data source: Google, news/media, Twitter

Balenciaga becomes a meme driven by generative AI
Generative AI has been the focal point of tech in recent months but lately, it's been used to create hilarious and scarily-realistic memes. The most prominent of late have put Balenciaga at the forefront - poking fun at absurd fashion, with memes like the "Balenciaga Pope" and "Harry Potter by Balenciaga" (which accrued over 5 million views on YouTube. This trend was enriched by other generative AI hobbyists that created new memes that loop Balenciaga in with other pop culture - such as the Lord of the Rings, Breaking Bad, and Star Wars. We see this as sticking around because it is the beginning of a whole new way to develop memes.
Data Source: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter

TikTok and Instagram is becoming Gen Z's search engine of choice
Recent research has suggested that Gen Z is looking to TikTok and Instagram for their search needs - overcoming Google for that group. 40% of people ages 18-24 are using these social networks to get their information.
Data Source: TikTok, Instagram, Google, news/media

Progressives make gains in the US ahead of the 2024 election
Liberals in the US scored a major victory in the state of Wisconsin - Janet Protasiewicz is now Wisconsin's next State Supreme Court judge. This tips the court's ideology more towards the left. This is a crucial win since the Wisconsin Supreme Court will be deciding on some major cases, including reproductive rights. Although this news will subside in about two weeks, this momentum - in addition to Former President Donald Trump being indicted and Liberals seeing victory in Chicago's Mayoral election - could impact political perception and policy to come ahead of the 2024 election.
Data Source: News/media, Google, Twitter



April Fools' Day and the new standard of pulling off pranks
We can count on April Fools' Day to come around every April 1st. Some people and brand pull it off, others fall flat. Regardless, the holiday drummed up a bit of interest on search - acquiring over 300k searches and numerous pieces of content from brands and individuals showing off their pranks. One of our favourites was the Pittsburgh Steelers announcing that Snoop Dogg was drafted to their team! However, some brands have taken it a step further, such as Nissin Foods, which launched a "Cup Noodles Breakfast" - a cup of microwavable ramen flavoured like pancakes, syrup, and sausage. This was a joke but they also offered the flavour for sale for a limited time. This is a great example of brands taking this opportunity up a notch - we may expect more to come next year now that the bar is getting set higher!
Data source: Google, news/media, TikTok, Instagram

Former US President Donald Trump becomes first US president to be indicted
Former US President Donald Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records. This case was driven by alleged hush money payments to individuals, such as adult film actress Stormy Daniels. This is the first time a US president has ever been indicted and may shake up his bid for the 2024 presidential election.
Data source: News/media, Google, Twitter, Facebook

Pedro Pascal eating a sandwich
Yes, another Pedro Pascal trend... but this one has been dominating TikTok. Content creators have been overlaying a video of Pedro Pascal eating a sandwich over their videos. Mostly videos that are awkward, funny, or educational.
Data source: TikTok

Dogecoin skyrockets after Twitter logo change
Elon Musk had made changes to the blue Twitter icon recently - changing the image to that of a Shiba Inu dog. As a result, the price of Dogecoin surged.
Data source: News/media, Twitter

Kid Rock publicly protests a partnership between trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light
Trans TikTok star, Dylan Mulvaney, partnered with Bud Light for a promotional contest and after she celebrated a year of womanhood, Bud Light sent her a personalised beer can to celebrate the milestone. Following this, some prominent celebrities spoke out - also going viral. For instance, Kid Rock went viral after posting an Instagram video firing a gun a boxes of Bud Light and former baseball player Aubrey Huff went viral, criticising Bud Light's decision and calling to cancel Bud Light.
Data source: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, news/media, Google

Niche x Going Viral_ 11 April 2023

Easter sparks debate on how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg
Easter is around the corner and one of the most popular activities for families is to paint eggs. This favourite activity sparked up a new question among celebrating consumers: how do you cook the perfect hard-boiled egg? We saw spikes in Google search traffic and traffic to recipe web pages as result.
Data source: Google, web traffic

Many shred their brackets as UConn wins NCAA March Madness tournament
UConn reigned victorious over San Diego State in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament. However, one of the biggest upsets has been for fans who have made bets on the tournament, filling out brackets. There has never been a verified perfect tournament bracket. On to next year!
Data source: News/media, Twitter, Google, Facebook

Japan wins World Baseball Classic
In an upsetting defeat for the US, Japan reigned as the champion for the World Baseball Classic in March. This year is unique, however, as the World Baseball Classic saw more interest from consumers than in previous years and is demonstrating the globalisation of the support beyond the US.
Data source: Google, Twitter, news/media

A fungus-killing bacteria is named after Keanu Reeves ahead of the latest John Wick movie
Who doesn't love Keanu Reeves? He's been making headlines for his latest role in John Wick 4. However, his cultural relevance and notable role as John Wick (where he literally kills numerous people in the movies) has led scientists to name a fungus-killing bacteria after him - Keanumycin.
Data source: Google, news/media

AI-powered content generating tools empowers and strikes fear in marketers
Among the plethora of trends in AI is around the various content creation tools that are being created using AI. Marketers are seeing this as an opportunity to streamline their copywriting and design efforts. However, one of the major concerns is the potential for this technology to replace humans in this matter. As this technology develops, we see this trend staying relevant for a while!
Data source: LinkedIn, Google, news/media

DIY tailoring sees an uplift
One of the new past times that started increase during the pandemic was tailoring. Many individuals picked up the hobby or learned how to alter and create garments. As of late, the trend has primarily been focused on learning tailoring skills to adjust existing garments.
Data source: Reddit

Intense flavours for candies hit the spot
Some of the latest candy trends include intense sour candies, indulgent sweets, or even spicy takes! We’re forecasting that consumers will open up to more flavour extremes - particularly sour flavours and spicy flavours. Super sour candies and Mexican candies have been trending as a result due to them meeting those flavour intensity needs.
Data source: TikTok, Google

Video game sequels and reboots generate high demand
Video game developers have been capturing our nostalgia very well (at least for the gamers in the audience). Sequels to once-popular series and remastered games have been making waves - and generating tremendous community support. Compared to games with no previous community, series reboots and sequels drive exponential increases in community size on sites like Reddit. Games like the Resident Evil 4 remake, God of War Ragnarök, Elden Ring/Dark Souls, and Diablo 4 all fit the ticket here.
Data source: Reddit

Consumers look to Reddit to validate their wedding attire
Now that weddings are back in full swing following the pandemic, many are looking to Reddit to get advice on their outfits for a wedding. Most are interested in understanding if their outfit meets a wedding's dress code and for what events they should be wearing certain outfits.
Data source: Reddit

Regenerative agriculture picks up steam as a sustainable approach for farming
Interest in regenerative agriculture has risen by 646% over the past five years and is picking up steam. This conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems is seen as new, innovative way to conduct sustainable farming and help improve topsoil health.
Data source: Wikipedia, Google, web traffic

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