April TRENDspotting Report.

April TrendspottingReport 2470x990

Welcome to the monthly BarkleyOKRP Internet Trends Wrap-Up.

Internally, we kicked off this month’s weekly trend reports with a poignant post from one of our favorite influencers, @veryharryhill. In that post he talks about how people save their most absurd thoughts for April Fool's Day – but not him, he’s out there thinking absurd thoughts (or TATing) all day every day.  

Allowing yourself to TAT on days even outside of April Fool’s Day is one of the best ways to stay relevant on today's internet. Creators and brands who are pushing the envelopes, ideating outside of the norms and just flat-out creating content for entertainment tend to be the ones who are having the most success right now organically. I mean, just look at how Jake Shane grew his audience literally overnight (no, seriously, we sat refreshing his page for a full day watching his number skyrocket). He thought the absurd thought of what if he performed historical reenactments as if they were reality shows. And it worked.  

So, what absurd thoughts have you had about your brand? And why haven’t you taken the leap to experiment with them? Or if you have taken the leap, how did it go? We venture to guess pretty well!  


Here are five trends we observed over the past month that we feel are part of a bigger cultural story or platform trend. 

  1. The Power of Your Fan Base 

  • WHAT HAPPENED: Have you heard of Chappell Roan? If you haven’t yet, you will soon. Chappell is the latest and greatest upcoming TikTok music artist superstar thanks to a fun dance and her incredible fan base. You see, in February Chappell had all of her music pulled from TikTok as a UMG artist, which just so happened to be right when she started as the opening act for Olivia Rodrigo’s sold-out Guts Tour. This could have led to her being a fun but forgettable opening act that even if she had catchy songs, most people might not be exposed to her again. HOWEVER, whether she did this on purpose or not, Chappell decided to make her shows extremely interactive, which made people want to film them, which gave her a trending TikTok dance with live music underneath that TikTok and UMG isn't pulling down (yet). 

  • IMPLICATION: Tapping into your fan base to spread the word for you is nothing new, but in the time of TikTok trends and authenticity it’s becoming more and more of a lucrative strategy to get attention. So, what brand treasures or brand rituals do you have? What are specific things that are associated with your brand that your fans are all about?  Whatever your fans are passionate about in relation to your brand – use it! Partner with influencers and find fun ways to encourage your fans to share these things with their own audiences. Give them the tools to co-create content with you like original sounds, filters, prompts for duets or stitches, and more – however, make sure it’s something they’re already talking about revolving around your brand, that’s the key to success! 

  1. The Power of Social Listening & Your Employees 

  • WHAT HAPPENED: Miri is a Chick-fil-A employee who was doing Chick-fil-A-specific, super-positive food reviews on her lunch breaks. Chick-fil-A apparently didn't appreciate that and asked her to stop making these WILDLY popular videos (over 100k views on average!). So, she did, and the audience she built around these reviews was MAD at Chick-fil-A for asking her to stop. That's when the unlikely hero, Shake Shack, appeared with a partnership. Miri is now on her page talking about Shake Shack's chicken sandwiches to her large audience base instead of Chick-fil-A. Talk about taking an L.  

  • IMPLICATION: Well, first of all, this just highlights the importance of having a great social listening team in place. Opportunities for your brand to become the unlikely hero come up probably more than you'd expect. Hearing about it first, and then having the groundwork laid to take action QUICKLY, is almost expected nowadays. Heck, how many brands could have become Phil from New York's new Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo by now?! And lastly, this whole thing with Miri reinforces something BarkleyOKRP believes in wholeheartedly – Rallying Your Cult. Not only are your fans perfect brand advocates – but so are your employees! Set guardrails, set them up with tools for success, and let them shout how much they love working for you from the rooftops. While we don't recommend letting them go as unhinged as the Bronx Golden Corral goes - look at the authentic engagement, excitement, and views that employee-centered and created content gets! 

  1. The Power of Taylor Swift 

  • WHAT HAPPENED: In a huge twist that not many saw coming, Taylor Swift, a UMG artist, was able to get some of her old and new songs put back on TikTok just in time for her The Tortured Poets Department album release. So, while we don’t know how Taylor managed this, we won’t get our perfect case study on how important TikTok is when it comes to exposure. However, even without her music, Taylor was able to rally her fans to shoot her to a top trending topic before her music dropped through a series of activations (TTPD Library!) that got everyone speculating what the album was going to be about.  

  • IMPLICATION: Has anyone perfected the art of the tease as well as Taylor Swift? We’re unsure. However, we can all take tips from her ability to rally her fan base to promote her work by gamifying the experience. Adding puzzles, creating clues, hiding easter eggs, and seeding ideas and theories are all great ways to get your fan base excited about what you’re cooking up next.  


While we can’t see into the future (yet), here are some things that we see a high possibility of becoming topics of conversation and/or generators of the next big meme in May! 

And that sums up the highlights for last month. If you want more, download our appendix to see what we’ve been tracking per platform over the month. We’ll return after the last Friday in May to chat about everything that happened that month. And, as we always ask internally – let us know if we missed anything! We’d love to hear what trends you’re seeing pop up on your FYPs!

The BarkleyOKRP TRENDspotting report is a must-read for the modern consumer (and the brands hopping to attract + retain the modern consumer). Follow along each month as our in-house trend experts, FUEL, highlight the who, what + why this matters.


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