It’s unlikely you’ve missed the recent internet meme that is the Harlem Shake, which is currently sweeping across the world.
And it was pretty inevitable that it wouldn’t be too long before brands jumped onto the bandwagon – already, Pepsi and Red Bull are among the companies who have already tried to prove that they’ve got their fingers on the pulse.
This in itself brings about various debates around user-generated content and the associated lifetime of memes (do they stop being a natural commentary of culture once commercialised?) – but, thought-provoking issues aside, it’s actually the massive uptake within the digital (and wider marketing and advertising) industry that’s of interest.
My colleague, Chris Lake, has previously discussed various cringeworthy efforts of agencies trying to dip their toes in self-promotional videos, something that has backfired on the likes of SapientNitro, PHD and Publicis before now – but arguably, these were standalone efforts.
With the Harlem Shuffle craze, there’s clearly safety in numbers and with dozens and dozens of different videos from agency land, efforts to be involved are generally both admirable understandable.
There’s also a lot of digital-specific ones and I’ve tried to pick out just a few examples.
To be clear, this isn’t intended to be a critique or speculation of reasons behind the flurry of uploads, but is more an observation that as part of a wider online movement, when the industry gets involved, it seems much more relatable, fun and of course, amusing…