Author:  Olha Trachuk, Grape's copywriter

How to hype?

We often hear the word ‘hype’ in our daily communication. We use it to call things that surprise, provoke or thrill us. The expression ‘a hyped video’/‘a hyped case’ has become an indicator of a great work.

But how does the hype work?

Grape’s creative director, Oleksiy Maksymenko, and I researched this question.
Here is what we found:


Our approach should not be thought of as a one and only right way. The hype is a spontaneous matter. We have only tried to understand how it works and shared our methods and experience in this article.

Coming back to our topic, we were trying to answer what makes the hype what it is. The first thing that we did was looking into the analytics and data by Google Analytics, McKinsey, AdAge. However, notwithstanding how swiftly ‘hype’ entered our vocabulary, there are no statistics on this phenomenon. So we had to do everything ourselves.

Although we could not find any studies made by the hyped companies, we did understand what hype is. The hype is when something evokes a heated discussion and instantly becomes news, dividing the public into two groups - fans and haters.

We decided to collect and analyse the events that were hyped to discover what they share in common. We assumed that the hype is not as unpredictable as it seems and that hyped up cases have a similarity - we only have to find what it is.


We selected cases by taking out everything that had not become hyped, for example, viral videos. We were looking for traits that repeat in those cases. Based on them, we made a list of criteria that help ‘check’ future projects on their potential to hype.

As a result, we highlighted 10 such characteristics and believe that they are the foundation for the hype.


A product is in a limited amount or is available only for some people. It incites a desire to possess it.


A collaboration of well-known brands or celebrities. Limitation often goes along with Collaboration. A good example of such a partnership is a buzz around the new Yeezy Boost 350. 3 thousand people lined up in a queue for the first 150 pairs of sneakers by Kanye West & Adidas.


A brand creates a new product or upgrades an existing one using technologies. It does not only concern Tesla cars or projects of Boston Dynamics. Nike’s automatic lacing is an innovation. A virtual model of Calvin Klein - an innovation. Spotify incorporating user data for the set of prints is an innovative strategy.


An object of public attention. It can be not necessarily actors or musicians, but personas, characters, brands etc. Asap Rocky, Santa Klaus, Apple and even a dog Pug.


A situation that is so relevant that it instantly becomes news and a brand uses it to draw attention to itself. A prompt reaction is what is important here, otherwise, it could turn into anti-hype.


A brand (icon) comes down from its pedestal and pays attention to a customer and his/her problems. It tries to do everything it can to make a customer feel special.


A brand highlighting a social issue can also become hype. Feminism, body positivism, melting icebergs, a threat of complete extension of the bees…


Actions that are often linked with current social issues and are aimed to provoke emotional responses from people to get more attention to a problem and increase the impact on the public. In order to hype up brands use such a strategy and evoke hate. The logic behind this is: ‘ It does not matter what is being said, as long as people are talking about you.’

In such a way PornHub shot ‘The dirtiest porn ever’ on the most polluted beach in the world or Ukrainian "Perepichka" (an iconic Kyiv’s pie shop) with candid photo-shooting.


A brand pays tribute to things that have become a part of mass culture: cinema, music, art etc. For example, a Barbie doll dressed as the world-famous painter, Frida Kalo.


It is a cultural space we are all living in. It fluctuates between two opposites - modernism and postmodernism - and uses them at the same time. Metamodern calls for a radical openness and mixes different styles and techniques. It does not transmit any ready-to-go ideas or concepts, but rather offers to find them yourself.

The bright representatives of metamodern are Banksy, Kidult and Hey Reilly.

Those criteria will not result in hype on their own: the more of them you find in your project, the more chances for success there are. We have noticed that all great cases - PornHub’s video about the most polluted beach in the world, IKEA x Virgil Abhol home collection and Spotify’s billboards addressing their users - meet at least three of these criteria.

At the same time projects with only 2 of these criteria, such as Chernobyl vodka Atomik and Billie Eilish’s clothing drop did not get a lot of coverage. We called such a pattern ‘the rule of the three criteria’.

How do you work with the criteria?

Try them on your idea. We came up with those criteria to use in practice when you create an advertisement. Our list helps you check whether your project will interest other people or not. Even though this method gives no garantie, it still increases your chances to hype up.

Why is the new Tesla the hype?

The presentation of Tesla’s cyber truck is one of the most hyped news of 2019. We have found five of our criteria here.

Firstly, Elon Musk and his brand, Tesla, are celebrities. And, as a result of all the buzz around them, a new cyber truck became a star too. It appeared in clips of Travis Scott and Kanye West.

A broken window on the presentation of an electric car caused a wave of hate. However, this provocation worked in the brand’s favour: a recording of that mess-up got into the news and social media feeds. Later on, Tesla even started to sell T-shirts with a cebert ruck broken window.

Only 2 days after the preview Tesla received over 146 requests for pre-order. Why? Because people could do it for only 100$ - Tesla has never cost that little before. That was a provocation.

Cyber truck is a tank on wheels with a futuristic design. To make such a vehicle, the company employed new technologies - they developed an innovative product.

Tesla’s executive manager shared that their designers had found inspiration in the fantastic saga, ‘Blade Runner’ (1982) and a machine stylistic of that imagined universe. What is the most interesting part is that all events of the film happen in 2019 - we have tribute here.

To sum up, Tesla’s cyber truck has met most of the criteria and was the most hyped among all the cases that we found.

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