2019 was a year of a wide variety of trending and viral topics, from chicken sandwich wars to songs you wish you could forget.
In 2019, Popeyes Chicken challenged the pecking order and dropped a sandwich on their menu, taking on behemoth Chick-fil-a. It was hardly “poultry in motion”. In fact, it got a little ugly, with the chicken chains trading jabs on social media. But just as Popeyes got some marketing momentum, they sold out of the sandwich. Eventually it came back, but amid the fast food fervor, there were shouting matches, assaults and arrests. Over chicken sandwiches.
They say art imitates life, but in 2019, life imitated art. When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed an intimate live rendition of “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” at the Oscars, the steamy performance ignited an “are-they/aren’t they?” avalanche on Twitter. The romantic theory proved shallow, when gaga addressed the trending topic, assuring fans that the fireworks were just a by-product of two dedicated performers.
An Instagram user’s mission to get the most likes for a photo of an egg turned out to be no yolk! The pic was posted with the caption, “Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post”. The egg didn’t just get over the previous record holder, Kylie Jenner’s number, it got over easy, beating Jenner’s 18 million likes with a whopping 53 million!
Homemade video app Tik Tok crossed the billion-download mark in 2019 and while it was trending, it spawned another trend. Lil’ Nas X’s “Old Town Road” went from a Tik Tok meme to the longest-running #1 on billboard’s Hot 100. It inspired a slew of remixes and imitators and a bunch of stolen “Old Town Road” signs.
And then there was “Baby Shark”. You heard it. You hummed it. And 4.1 billion youtube views later, you tried to forget it, but couldn’t.
This. Is. Jeopardy. And this. Was. Bananas! Week in and week out, viewers watched contestant James Holzhauer go on a 33-episode tear and break single-game earnings records for the iconic game show. Ultimately, Holzhauer’s earning streak would come to an end just a mere $58,000 short of know-it-all champion Ken Jennings’ $2.52 million haul.
Did your try the Bottlecap Challenge in 2019? The idea was simple…try to remove a loose fitting bottlecap with a roundhouse kick without knocking over the bottle. It started in the world of mixed martial arts fighter Max Holloway, but before we knew it, everyone from singer John Mayer to action star Jason Statham got a kick out of it. The videos from those three alone racked up more than 33 million views!
What started as a Facebook event posted as a joke to storm the not-so-secret secret military base, Area 51, and “see them aliens” turned into a full-on craze with over 2 million users clicking either “going” or “interested”. It brought tons of tourists to the area but, ultimately, there was no raid, and the event organizer eventually expressed regret at the monster he’d created
Speaking of creating a monster, ahead of the holiday season, Peloton released an ad showing a woman being gifted one of their pricey exercise bikes and embarking on a yearlong fitness journey. It did not go over well. Critics ripped everything from the husband’s seemingly tone-deaf choice of gift to the wife’s stunning transformation from a fit, attractive woman to…a fit, attractive woman. It wasn’t all bad, though. It made a budding star out of the actress, who was quickly cast in an aviation gin ad showing her, ironically, drinking her sorrows away.
Both ads went viral.
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