By Jennifer Marley
What is it about meme’s like the Harlem Shake? First of all…it is not to be confused with the song called “Harlem Shuffle”, recorded by Bob & Earl back in 1963. The Harlem Shake involves one person with a helmet or mask dancing with others around fairly oblivious – when the beat in the song drops, all the bystanders have been transformed and are part of the dance. The dance itself involves planted feet and gyrating arms and body. The meme first started gaining traction on February 6th, 2013 and is attributed to a silly video from a vlogger named “Filthy Frank.” (tracking today at almost 18 million views). Then another user named SunnyCoastSkate who established the form …the jump cut video and the helmet. As of February 11th, there were around 12,000 “Harlem Shake” videos posted on YouTube, watched collectively upwards of 44 million times!
Why do they catch on? We can’t help ourselves from watching and smiling. It’s because these memes make us smile and bring some Happiness to our day. And…admit it…you kind of want to try it!
Happiness is a powerful concept. From scientific studies to books by the thousands, we’ve seen that Happiness sells. As Marketers, have we thought about how we are bringing happiness on a daily basis to our customers? Have we thought through each and every touch point in our Brand experience?
Happiness can also engage employees. Schools and Companies are creating Harlem Shakes and putting them up on YouTube. My personal favourite…Harlem Shake Library Style! Our company had tons of fun creating a ‘flash mob’ type of dance and performing it on stage at our annual fundraising walk Light The Night for Leukemia. Perhaps for this October we’ll have the SW+A Harlem Shake!