Lemonade: How a Common Word Became a Viral Phenomenon
Social media is a powerful beast. Like running through a dry forest with a handful of lit matches, it’s not difficult to light up the internet anymore. Film a funny cat video, and you’ll probably get a few thousand views at least – but what happens when an already-popular celebrity makes a clever move that goes viral? Unless you haven’t had access to any form of internet or television in the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard of Beyoncé’s new album: Lemonade.
People of all ages are talking about Lemonade, nearly to the point that the word has taken on an entirely new meaning. But how can one common word be changed by one person? In a clever utilization of the English language, Beyoncé crafted the word to mean more than just the beverage. The word was shortened from the saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Basically, when life brought her down, she made her album… Lemonade.
Words are so powerful when used appropriately, and music is a highly effective way of delivering words in a way that makes people truly feel the meaning. Combined, Beyoncé was able to portray her story in a way that caused others to want to share the story as well. When people listened to the album and realized what she was saying, the album name suddenly made sense – most likely giving goosebumps to the listener and inspiring many to keep sharing.
From the moment people realized the unique usage of the word “lemonade” – partly proud and partly sad – fans wanted to share the quip with others. Where else would they go other than to the crowds of social media? At first, people simply shared links to stories about the album. Then, the jokes and memes arrived about watching out for people drinking a glass of lemonade. Suddenly, the album spread like wildfire and you could barely log onto any platform without seeing lyrics, photos and jokes inspired the album.
Interestingly, the album ended up giving lemonade companies more sales – as in, people started frequently buying the actual lemonade beverage… seriously. According to Business Insider, one lemonade company in particular saw its sales double within the time that the album was most popular. Since an album became viral, everyone has been wanting to join in on social media, even if just by posting a photo of a glass of lemonade.
Beyoncé’s Lemonade album is a perfect example of how words can be a truly strong way of conveying emotion, whether it be happiness or sadness. When applied correctly, a single word can provide an influential meaning that can be felt in the hearts of millions. Of course, Beyoncé had an upper-hand due to her celebrity status; however, her album is still thought-provoking, as it shows how easy it is to make an album and a company go viral through the power of one word.