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The live stream event Raising Millions for Charity

Z Event 2022 raised over €10 million

By Nana Akosua Frimpong

Friday, 14th of October 2022

Z Event is a gaming charity project organised every year since 2016 by well-known gaming creators Adrien Nougaret and Alexandre Dachary. Named after his online pseudonym ZeratoR, Adrien alongside Alexandre organises the annual Twitch event to bring together French streamers and players whilst raising money for charity. 

Streaming events are well-known and popular everywhere but what makes Z Event special is the unique format. The event takes place face-to-face with personalities invited by the pair and the public tune in remotely, watching live on Twitch via the player’s channels. The three-day marathon welcomes all types of streamers from around the world to participate in hilarious challenges, mentor new streamers and produce worthwhile content with the ultimate goal of connecting with each other and raising money.

Adrien and Alexandre, aka ZeratoR and Dach, unexpectedly started the Z Event in Adrien’s living room back in 2016 when they invited fifteen streamer friends over to join Belgian player Athene’s humanitarian battle call to raise funds in aid of Ethiopia’s famine crisis. That year, they raised 170,000. 

The success of the first unofficial event prompted Adrien and Alexandre to improvise and organise another the year after. The team grew to include well-known influencers in gaming such as Doigby, Mister MV and Sardoche, and they raised 500,000 for the French Red Cross.

Since the first unexpected and unpretentious event, Z Event has grown and consistently broken its previous donation record. In 2021, for example, they raised a whopping €10 million for Action Against Hunger.

With the help of 57 gaming personalities and over 50 hours of streaming, this year’s Z Event in September raised donations across five charity organisations – Time for the Planet, Sea Shepherd, The Bird Protection, WWF and the Sea Cleaners.

It started with a fun-filled musical concert featuring musical ensemble French Fuse, beatboxing crew Berywam, rapper Soprano and many more. The opening night also saw participants share their donation goal cards all across Twitter using the hashtag #ZEvent2022.

Streamers use donation goal cards to set challenges to complete when a donation goal is reached. This is tracked on the participants’ Twitch channel as they stream online. Viewers are then able to see when a goal is reached and watch the streamer complete their challenge. 

Streamer Ceb set a goal of coaching a viewer live on his channel when he reached a donation goal of $7,500, whilst another streamer pledged to send a picture of Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo Jr on Instagram when his donation goal reached €1,000,000.

Each participant created their own donation goal making it entertaining for viewers everywhere. 

Z Event is also known to attract well-known celebrities. On the second day of this year’s event, French streamer Etoiles invited TV host, actor and director Alain Chabat to host Z Event’s quiz game “Questions for the streamers: Burger Edition”.

Over the three-day action-packed marathon event, viewers tuned in to watch their favourite streamers’ Twitch channels, donate and join in on the fun. This year, Z Event raised €10.1 million with a massive upsurge in viewership. 

Every year, fans of the event look forward to joining the event, and it goes without saying that Z Event has become a staple in the French Twitch gaming community.

The event has not just become a big opportunity for streamers to grow their platform but to connect with their fans by showing their real and personable side – and fans can be active participants. 

Twitch is a platform that enables communities and Adrien and Alexandre have taken the opportunity to not only shed light on world issues through charitable donations, but to also grow a community where people can reach out and learn from their mentors. 

It has become evident that streamers love to challenge themselves and others and so we are likely to see more creator-led streaming events in the future. 

Will you be tuning into the next Twitch live stream or, like Z Event fans, are you eagerly awaiting the 2023 event that is sure to be even bigger and better than the last one? 

Check out the best of #ZEvent2022 on YouTube.

What is Quiet Quitting and will it last?

The latest trend to take over the workplace

By Bella Hales

Friday, 7th of October 2022

Quiet Quitting is the latest buzzword to emerge on TikTok in the past few months, exploding in America and quickly taking over Europe. Contrary to what it sounds like, it isn’t about quitting at all. Instead, it represents a rising trend where employees are actively embracing the traditional concept of ‘work-to-rule’ – but this time, as more of an antidote to relentless work expectations, long hours and post pandemic fatigue. Quiet Quitting builds on the emergence of a culture which embraces the work/life balance. 

The term was coined by American TikToker, Zaid Khan aka @Zaidleppelin, who posted a video in July 2022 after his job as a software engineer became all encompassing. In his post on TikTok, he encouraged people to renounce hustle culture and quit “the idea of going above and beyond”, arguing that you as an individual are worth more than just your labour and that “work is not your life”.

In a recent interview, he summarised the reasoning behind the movement, stating that “overworking only gets you so far. And like a lot of us have experienced in the past few years, mental and physical health really takes a backseat to productivity in a lot of these corporate environments.” This idea sure hit home, with his social media post being viewed by 3.5 million people.

It is no coincidence that this trend comes with the influx of Gen Z’s joining the corporate world. In a survey carried out by ResumeBuilder.com, 30% of people between the ages 25 and 34 said that within their workplace, they are doing the bare minimum, which is in stark contrast to 8% of workers who are over 54 years of age. This indicates that the younger generation are more inclined to take a step back and remove themselves from certain responsibilities.  

It is also clear that the pandemic has changed people’s attitude towards work. An associate professor at the University of Nottingham, Maria Kordowicz, told the Guardian that the rise in Quiet Quitting is linked to a noticeable fall in job satisfaction. She stated “the search for meaning has become far more apparent. There was a sense of our own mortality during the pandemic, something quite existential around people thinking ‘What should work mean for me? How can I do a role that’s more aligned to my values?”.

This heightened sense of self and ability to challenge previously accepted norms is part of the work revolution, where there is a growing confidence that it is good to look after yourself and work life balance is healthy. Quiet Quitting normalises this mindset; it’s not aggressive, but is a clear antithesis to the ‘work every hour you can’ ethos.

But this idea of covert action is not necessarily healthy – both for employees or employers. Stepping aside from certain responsibilities without conversation can create an atmosphere of distrust and secrecy. It would be far more beneficial for employees to be able to have an open dialogue with their employers so that they can create a better working environment and there be greater opportunities for change.

Crucially and undeniably, the role a job plays in our lives has shifted. It means the ways in which we are working – and where we are working from – are changing. And though the pandemic might have been the catalyst for the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, this isn’t something that started with the COVID crisis. These feelings of dissatisfaction in the workplace were there already, the pandemic simply acted as an accelerant. Now, employees are prioritising workplaces that cater more to their needs and offer a better work/life balance. Instead, things like flexible hybrid working, ensuring you take lunch breaks and frank discussions about burnout and mental health are seen as the tent poles to a good working environment – and that’s definitely a good thing and one we encourage.

Social media has allowed employees to take matters into their own hands, but with the cost of living and major recession, these trends may well be slowed down – and the quiet confidence that allowed employees to Quiet Quit could be halted altogether.

Trendsetters: Scandinavian Fashion

Where Sustainability meets Style

By Milan Charles

Friday, 30th of September 2022

Scandinavian style has become the fashion crowd’s most coveted aesthetic. With brands like Arket and Ganni growing in popularity, the Scandinavian look breaks away from the glitz and glamour of fast fashion and leans into a slower, more attainable, and most importantly sustainable lifestyle.

This is nothing new. Scandinavian lifestyle trends have been all the rage for years, and if you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, you’ll see many are doing their best to replicate them in their wardrobes and homes. 

Capturing the unique characteristics that Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland have in common, the Scandinavian style is about far more than just aesthetics. It’s a philosophy encompassing art, furniture and interior design, mindset, attitude, lifestyle and cultural norms. 

Looking to adopt the Scandinavian style yourself? Here, we share some guidelines for you to live by:

Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Choices

Scandi fashion goes beyond aesthetics to promote sustainable and ethical living by removing what’s not necessary and focusing on what’s left – as well as higher quality and longer-lasting items. Finnish fashionista, Sandra Emeliah, adds her own personal touch to Scandinavian fashion by finding staple items second-hand and championing slow fashion.

Everything Must Go With Everything

The idea behind the Scandi style is that everything must go with everything. You can play with textures, but mainly within a neutral colour palette. Characterised by functionality and minimalism, Nordic clothing mixes high-quality solid fabrics with sleek accessories and elegant details creating a look that is both casual and stylish at the same time. Check out Phalguni, from Sweden, for ultimate neutral fashion inspo.

Comfort First

The Scandinavian design aims to improve people’s lives under the modernist mantra “form follows function”. To achieve the ultimate state of cosiness, most Scandinavian clothing breaks the confinements of form-fitting shapes. In Copenhagen, Maria Jonsson marries style and comfort perfectly – often spotted in airy fabrics and loose-fitting silhouettes, her wardrobe embodies this mantra. 

Building a Capsule Collection – Items that are High Quality and Long-lasting

The typical Nordic wardrobe is not about what’s trendy and completely about what’s timeless with simple and classic clean-cut lines. For instance, you’ll rarely see Scandinavians wear T-shirts with flashy logos or extreme embellishments. Instead, the style opts for long-lasting items, basics and tailored pieces that you can repurpose throughout the seasons for many years to come. Swedish content creator and healthcare worker Lydia Tsegay has been building her Scandi-inspired capsule collection over the years. Her ethos is “personal style, not fashion” truly embodies the Scandi way.

Genderless Clothing 

The Scandinavian fashion industry challenges gender stereotypes, with many brands opting for a more fluid approach to style. Nordic countries have maybe the most inclusive cultures, with the dress code being one of the many ways in which they demonstrate this to the world. The Scandi street style tends to feature androgynous silhouettes or outfits consisting of both masculine and feminine items. William from Norway and Emelie from Sweden could most likely share a wardrobe, leaning heavily into genderless street style with a heavy Scandinavian influence. 

So, what do you think – could you adopt a Scandinavian wardrobe? If you’re still in need of a little inspiration, check out these content creators:

Nicole, Stockholm

Anna Sofia, Stockholm

Elin Wahlberg, Sweden 

Greta Urban, Sweden

Selina, Denmark

Austeja, Norway 

Dina Hansen, Norway

Shuffles: Pinterest’s worst kept secret

The new collage-making app that is already trending everywhere

By Laina Claydon

Friday, 16th of September 2022

Shuffles by Pinterest is a new app designed for collective collaging. You can ‘unleash your creative energy’ and build your own aesthetic scrapbook-esque mood board using photos from Pinterest’s library or photos you’ve taken yourself.

Soon after it was released, Shuffles managed to have its own trend on TikTok, where these “aestheticcollages were then set to music and posted. This helped create a buzz around the app and is also where a lot of people found out it wasn’t as easy as just popping into the AppStore to download it. 

Interestingly, Pinterest decided to go down the ‘invite only’ route with Shuffles. If you’re lucky enough to receive a code from somebody who already has the app then you can download it and share a code with five others. If they’re too late and your five exclusive codes have already been used up, they’ll receive a ‘we’ve reached the limit for this invite code’ message.

Understandably, this exclusivity tactic has led to more of a buzz around the app and created FOMO for those that can’t get a code. When something seems limited, time-sensitive or exclusive, it only makes you want it more, however this strategy doesn’t always work. Clubhouse, for example, launched with a similar technique but hasn’t been able to sustain its popularity since. It does, though, give Shuffles more time to fix any bugs that emerge and make changes to the app before it’s available to the masses. Pinterest was originally released in this format back in 2012, and there are already TikTok accounts dedicated to Shuffles such as @pinterestshuffles_ and @pinterestshuffles.x whose only posts include giving out codes for others to get on the app. It’s like a secret club!

Admittedly, this is an interesting marketing strategy from Pinterest. Last year they introduced an in-house team, called TwoTwenty, whose sole focus is to grow the user base through innovation, and they are the same people who released this app. It’s safe to say that this was a success as Shuffles has already spent time as the No.1 Lifestyle app in the US App Store. There are even videos on TikTok showing users how to create their very own Shuffles and people sharing their love of the app

On Shuffles, users can choose to add effects and motion to the images to make them shake, spin, pulse, swivel and more. You could, for instance, add an image of a record player and then animate it so that it actually spins. Other cool features include being able to ‘reshuffle’ someone else’s Shuffles, meaning you can take another user’s design and customise it to make it your own.

Like with any other trend or creation, once something is popular on one platform, it then spreads across others in similar forms. We aren’t, for example, just seeing this collage content on Shuffles anymore. TikTok users are already jumping on it and calling it the ‘collage trend’, and people are using apps such as Canva, Capcut, and Magic Eraser to create that similar ‘cut-out’ style and put it to music on the platform.

Shuffles is also very similar to a new iOS 16 feature from Apple. Here, you can effortlessly crop an object from one of your photos and then paste that cutout anywhere you choose – like in an iMessage chat. You only need to touch and hold to lift the image away from the background. Cool, right? This style of content is also becoming more common on Instagram ‘Reels’.

Even since beginning writing this article, Tiktok has now created a filter to give a very similar ‘cut-out’ effect which feels eerily familiar.

Shuffles is targeting a younger demographic that’s using social media in a new way: for self-expression, not just networking. Why the app is resonating with Gen Z seems to be a combination of the technology it uses to simplify collage-making, coincided with the desire for creative expression tools that serve that demographics’ social habits.

The app also opens up new social commerce opportunities. The objects in users’ collages, for example, are linked to Pinterest and a tap will bring you to a dedicated page for the item in question. In the case of items that are available for purchase — like fall fashion or home decor, for instance — users could also buy the item by clicking through to the retailer’s website.

Shuffles has provided users with a great way to get creative and people are using this app for a variety of reasons, from creating their dream outfit to their dream home. It might even be the new platform to create memes such as this beauty. And despite its soft launch, Shuffles is currently placed number 21 in the lifestyle section of the UK AppStore. Will it fall out of popularity, or will it continue to rise as more users are allowed access to the platform? Only time will tell.

NEW GENERATION OF MUSIC  SAMPLING

modern day tribute to our favourite guilty pleasures

By Nana Akosua Frimpong

Monday, 12th of September 2022

TikTok has proven itself as the go-to place for discovering new music. We have seen songs that trend on the app go on to top the Billboard charts, and it’s become evident that TikTok has been at the forefront of generating new trends – as well as reintroducing old ones. With the app’s continuous push of music from challenges to TikTok-specific sounds, there has been a surge in old songs being sampled on new tracks. 

Music sampling is nothing new. The concept first originated in the early 70s and is a technique popularised in hip hop which saw up-and-coming producers take a section of a completed or uncompleted track and repurpose it to make it fresh. 

Over the years, more and more producers have learned to splice and reuse old tracks to create their musical pieces. Some have even perfected the art by adding their unique signature to blend and piece different tracks together. Kanye West is a great example of a producer who puts his signature on the art of sampling.

In our current digital age, with computer-based workflow used in creating music, the ethics of sampling and fair use is a topic that is greatly debated even before the involvement of technology. But as we have heard from popular artists such as Doja Cat, Drake and many more, musicians are much more lenient towards sampling usage now than when it first came about.

Currently, UK artists have a bit of an obsession with sampling 00s pop songs. In recent months, we’ve heard homegrown rappers jump on beats that lift heavily from old-school garage songs to Eurodance hits. Brighton-born new age rap artist Ardee, featuring Digga D, leaned on rapping over a heavy sample of T2’s bassline classic Heartbroken, and Tion Wayne’s drill version of La Roux’s ‘In For The Kill’ saw him chart in the UK Top 10. 

Turn of the century hip hop and Rnb are also fair game, as Digga D’s latest mixtape pays homage to 50 Cent with three reworks of his tracks. 

Based on the definition of sample music, some of these samples may not adequately fit the term. Many can be categorised as a cover version rather than a meticulous and creative music production. Irrespective of this, the UK sampling trend has escalated to the point that it is being credited as a sub-genre called ‘sample drill’.

The trend is indicative of fans’ interest. The nostalgic-yet-modern sound has meant new audiences have been introduced to old sounds. The trend of sample music banks on the cultural mainstay of guilty pleasures with some new music becoming a guilty pleasure of their own. 

TikTok creators such as Jarred Jermaine and Doc Boj are an example of people who not only educate their followers on new singles with sample tracks but also cherish the guilty pleasure aspect of them. Creator Lua Lua has a YouTube channel dedicated to reviewing music – including reviews on sample music. 

Sampling has grown and developed since its inception and with the help of the internet, it has streamlined the process making it more accessible as an educational tool for artists and music fans. While some sample music can be used in poor taste or isn’t utilised to the best of its ability, it has always been about paying homage to the artist and producers. 

With ‘sample drill’ being indicative of the new era of sampling, it’s also about the nostalgic memory of being a teen in the 2000s and going to dance raves, updating your MySpace account and pairing up your Bluetooth on your Sony Ericsson to be able to share the latest single streamed late at night on LimeWire.

With all that being said, all trends have an expiry date but the more intriguing question is: what guilty pleasure song from the 2000s wouldn’t you mind being sampled and which artist would you want to see jump on the track?

How authentic is bereal, really?

the ‘anti-instagram’ photo-sharing app everybody is talking about

By Bella Hales

Friday, 26 of August 2022

Recently, it appears Instagram’s day of being ahead of the curve has approached its end. Celebrities like the Jenner/Kardashian clan have become increasingly publicly disinterested with the app as a result of its TikTok-esque changes, and it seems that social media has been calling for something innovative and fresh to change things up for a while.

BeReal, a photo-sharing app that has now famously been dubbed ‘anti-Instagram’, was created by French founders Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau and designed to encourage users to be their real selves.

Want to know how it works?

Once a day at any given time, users receive a ‘warning’ notification indicating that it is ‘time to BeReal’. A 2-minute window is then offered to take your photo, using both your rear and front camera. Once you’ve shared your snap-of-the-day, you are then allowed access to your newsfeed, displaying everything your friends are doing in that same timeframe. Users can add captions and interact with friends’ posts through comments and RealMojis (emojis in the form of a selfie). Your feed only updates itself once a day, with all uploads expiring when the next notification is sent out, and only you are allowed to look at your past posts – which is very resemblant of the ephemeral nature of Snapchat. 

The restraints of only being able to post once a day poses us with less reason to aimlessly scroll; you only need to check the app once or twice a day to stay updated which is undoubtedly a lot less time that avid social media users spend on the likes of Instagram and TikTok. Importantly, BeReal provides no filters, means of editing and notably, you cannot track metrics like followers and likes, thus removing the widely criticised social performance pressures that Instagram has been accused of catalysing. 

With this philosophy in mind, it is clear that BeReal has made a great attempt at filling the void between social media and authentic reality. 

But how authentic is it?

@bee.austin matty healy didnt kniw what a bereal was #mattyhealy #the1975 ♬ pass the dutchie sped up - vevonix

Whilst BeReal does provide guidelines on how to best utilise the app, these are very malleable. Despite the two-minute time frame, you can still post any time after the notification, with the only consequence being that your friends get a notification to say you posted late. As a result, users are able to wait until they are looking their best, or doing something they feel is more ‘fun’ or showcase worthy to their friends. Ultimately, this fluidity of the app’s rules, defeats its own mission to shun social performativity.

The emphasis on only being able to take unfiltered and untouched images of oneself is certainly one of the most true features to the app’s core vision, but it does come into paradox with itself when highlighting the fact that users can take unlimited retakes of their photos. Surely this encourages the same rose-tinted reality posed online that Instagram does?

Undoubtedly, BeReal has set a new precedent – a unique, new way of online photo-sharing. But as they have blurred their values with those of the more traditional apps, so have their users. BeReal snaps are now also making their way onto the mainstream channels, in an attempt from creators to cement their social status, centre-staging aspects of their ‘mundane’ livelihoods. 

Examples of this can be seen on influencer and celebrity channels including the likes of Chloe Frater and Tyler the Creator. These are just two of the famous figures including BeReals in their photo-dumps. Mashable’s Elena Cavender has seemingly rightedly coined that BeReals are the new selfie”. In her eyes, this makes the app “now just another way to commodify your life.” 

It’s not only Instagram that’s had BeReal creep into its feed, multiple TikTok users’ for-you-pages have been bombarded with young girls attempting to get celebrities to feature in their snaps, such as Bee Austin, posting her BeReal with the 1975’s Matt Healy which has garnered 546k views to date.

Despite the numerous arguments to be made against the platform, its fundamentals are in the right place and it is clear that the principle is founded upon good intention. Nonetheless, it has not yet achieved the ultimate goal of online authenticity and is still offering a social platform with the means to contrast and compare with peers. 

My takeaway from this: do I think that BeReal has been a positive force in social media? Yes (regardless of the ‘buts’). Will I keep using it? Absolutely.

Clean Beauty Aesthetic

the lifestyle trend that has over 300 million views on tiktok

By Nana Frimpong

Wednesday, 10th of August 2022

#CleanGirlAesthetic is the latest lifestyle trend taking over TikTok, with over 300 million views. #CleanMakeup even has 400million views on the platform. 

Both hashtags showcase natural or minimal makeup looks that creators like Tasha Green are known for and according to creators like Geena Hunt, to achieve the ‘clean girl’ look you only need tinted moisturiser, light concealer, eyebrow pomade, lip balm, tints and oils. It sounds simple and achievable, but is it?

As you scroll through the hashtag, you’ll notice that #CleanGirlAesthetic is not just about makeup – it covers all things lifestyle and having the perfect organised life. You may also notice one common anomaly under #CleanMakeup and that is that most, if not all, of the advocates of this beauty trend seem to have poreless, clear skin. 

Like with any trend, there is always the question of appropriateness and inclusivity. With the premise of the #CleanGirlAesthetic being about slicked-back hair, minimal makeup over glossy, buttery skin and gold hoop earrings, some creators have questioned how the trend caters to those with acne and hyperpigmentation.

Others have even come forward to critique the choice of wording. On first look, the term “Clean Girl” alone represents those with clear glossy skin and perfectly placed hair, suggesting that those with blemishes, texturised skin and untamed hair are ‘dirty’. Creators such as Uche Natori went as far as to tweet that the beauty trend is ‘anti-black’ as Black girls need “coverage and structure”.

TikTok creator Katouche Goll explained further that the “clean girl look relies on prerequisite terms of how you are supposed to look”, which vilifies those who fail to meet those terms. It further asserts that people who don’t fall into this westernised beauty standard are not worthy of being celebrated. 

Beauty influencers like Rikki Sandhu and Izzie Rodgers, however, are championing and reimagining the so-called ‘clean girl make-up’ and ‘clean girl’ aesthetic. 

And it is worth celebrating those taking the trend in the right direction. 

Creators I am Dodo and Neenz have also taken the opportunity to adapt the trend to fit their own aesthetical needs with the creation of #cleangirlaestheticblackgirl and #cleanmakeupforblackgirls. These hashtags were created to allow accessibility for Black creators to join a popular trend – and therefore show that it can be inclusive too.

Taking into consideration what it takes to achieve the ‘clean girl’ look – with everything from facials, brow tints, lash lifts and more to good lighting and filters – it begs the question: do you have perfect skin or did you buy it?

We often need to remind ourselves that some of the beauty videos and pictures we come across on social media have a cleverly-used lighting trick, a natural-looking pre-set filter or in some cases permanently purchased tweaks.

With more and more people embracing no-makeup and wellness trends, it has therefore been exciting to see people embracing their authentic selves. And with the rise of BeReal encouraging no-filter photos, it’s intriguing to see how it may change our view on beauty standards in the future. 

Gen Z audiences prefer authenticity over everything and have found a home on TikTok where they can truly be themselves. On the app, there is everything from the #CleanGirlAesthetic to relatable and accessible beauty content. And they both live side-by-side in a way that doesn’t seem to exist on other platforms. 

By embracing TikTok, Gen Z has made the platform their very own news and trends source, which makes it even more exciting to keep up with the next beauty trend that emerges on there. What do you think it will be?

Trendsetters

BINLEY MEGA CHIPPY

How A Local Chippy Turned Into A Viral TikTok Sensation

By Laina Claydon

Wednesday, 1st of June 2022

If you have TikTok you’ve probably heard of Binley Mega Chippy. The fish and chip shop in Coventry has blown up on TikTok (currently at over 200m views) and even has its own trending song.

A series of videos and memes based around Binley Mega Chippy started popping up on everyone’s FYP, and now there are queues of people eager to try the ‘Morbius Meal’. It has been quoted to have a ‘festival atmosphere’ as there is such a buzz surrounding the shop; sounds like a pretty great experience to go and collect your takeaway, right?

Who doesn’t love the British sense of humour? Surely no other country would make a random suburban chip shop a viral sensation.

While the randomness is what makes it funny, is there something else going on underneath the surface? 

It can be tricky to understand the origins of a viral trend on TikTok, when there’s so much related content and chronologically ranking isn’t an option (except on a profile page). However, with the Binley Mega Chippy trend playing out in real time we are able to unpick it.

@craigskebabhouse (currently 2k followers) started posting videos on the 20th April. Heavily leaning into the lo-fi aesthetic of the platform, it is essentially a budget slideshow of budget UK food and drink items like Rustlers burgers and K Cider. The audio on these posts is a mix of drum’n’bass and happy hardcore, appealing to an audience who like to celebrate the irony of budget British things.

One of these posts on 26th April was a slideshow of chip shops and kebab outlets including ‘Jason Donervan’ (genius), ‘Phil’s Yer Tum Fish & Chips’ and, of course, ‘Binley Mega Chippy’.

From here, on 18th May, an account called @binleymegachippyfan53 (currently 8k followers) started an appreciation account of BMC, with each video consciously utilising viral sounds, referencing Stella Artois, Anime and also tapping into macro mainstream British news – with references to Prince Philip (341k views). Combined with the Queen’s imminent Platinum Jubilee celebrations, this awareness of topical news may be a factor.

Further to this, there is another trend that has been taking place for a while; ‘Blokecore’ – recently picked up by fashion magazines as well as mainstream media, the trend took a foothold on TikTok, and has spilled out onto the streets, with young guys in particular wearing 90s football shirts to go to the pub even when there is no football on TV. There is some psychology behind this too; in a time when people are coming back together ‘post-covid’, wearing clothes that are nostalgic and a celebration of coming together as a group of friends feels relevant. 

@nicksfits My guide to Bloke Core! Love this “trend” because I love the sport!U should get into it too! I’ll tag Lukas in the comments as well! #greenscreen #fashion #fashiontiktok #blokecore #fashioninspo #fyp #fashion101 ♬ original sound - Nick Ramos 🃏

Another aspect, which plays a part, is that Coventry, where Binley Mega Chippy is located, happens to have just hosted Radio 1’s Big Weekend and is also this year’s UK Capital of Culture. With increased attention on the city, while surely deserving, Coventry on the surface is potentially not an obvious choice for celebrating culture, so perhaps the timely rise in fame of Binley Mega Chippy comes with a sense of irony.

As for the audio (sonic branding can do wonders for a brand FYI), there is a feeling of familiarity to it, but it’s quite hard to place. Upon closer inspection it sounds very close to ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow’ – another British classic (side note: this song is originally French, but adopted by the British). This is combined with the familiar text-to-audio voiceover making it feel native to TikTok.

A viral video is hard or even impossible to predict and engineer, however, wider trends and macro news events can provide the foundations and relevance that enable virality. Being aware of these is key to being agile. Who knows, maybe Binley Mega Chippy chips will collab with McCain and soon be available to buy in supermarkets. You heard it here first.

Trendsetters

The Casual Carousel

The days of posting one perfect image are gone

By Laina Claydon

Friday, 29th of April 2022

Long gone are the days of posting one perfect image on Instagram. Instead, it’s all about casual carousels. 

With the term ‘authenticity’ being at the forefront of marketing, it’s no wonder why this trend has become so popular. 

Casual posting is about making your feed look more authentic, carefree and less thought-out.

In actual fact, it’s just as calculated as before.

Casual posting takes the form of a carousel of images on Instagram that some people call a ‘photo dump’. 

Instead of simply posting one picture-perfect photo of your outfit or holiday, it’s now all about showing everything: from your dinner to your dog and quirky street art. For added easygoing vibes, some are even unedited. 

Influencers such as Emma Chamberlain and Olivia Neill are the queens of casual posting and so it’s easy to see why everybody is doing it. 

Photo-dumping is a great way to show a more realistic version of your day and to come across more ‘casual’ on your social media, which is in stark contrast to the ‘perfect’ ways in which we tried to present ourselves for years on the photo-sharing platform. 

With influencers’ lives quickly becoming unobtainable to followers due to their wealth and lifestyles, casual posting has allowed them to appear more relatable to us – and it even gives us a glimpse into their ‘normal’ lives that we’ve not previously seen.

Casual posting definitely saw a rise during the start of the pandemic. After all, when we were all stuck at home unable to see our friends and family, we didn’t want to see others living their best lives. 

This more relaxed approach to photo-sharing sounds like a good thing, but is it?

There is now a whole new pressure to not only look super cool on your Instagram but also make sure every aspect of your day is ‘Instagrammable’. Now, more people than ever are proving to their audience how interesting their life is, and not only are people comparing their looks to their favourite influencers but their lifestyles too. 

Not everyday can look as fun and colourful as these photo dumps, and they often don’t include the commute to work, rainy weather and more mundane day-to-day activities that take up our days. 

With photo dumps comes a change in beauty trends too. People are now sharing their ‘clean’ makeup and glowy skin with brushed up brows. This new trend comes hand-in-hand with casual posting because everybody wants to look effortless, even if it means putting in more effort to look as if they haven’t.

Interestingly, it reminds us of how Instagram started out when feeds were full of instant snapshots of completely random things. There is even a hashtag #makeinstagramcasualagain that has been used over 48,000 times which began in 2018 and peaked in popularity in 2020.

And it’s not just influencers getting in on the trend, big name celebrities like Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid have taken to casual posting. 

That’s a sure sign that this trend won’t be going anywhere for a while.