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  • Harlem Shake – does it have the making of a Gangnam?

  • Harlem Shake – does it have the making of a Gangnam?

    Harlem Shake – does it have the making of a Gangnam?

    People are asking. Is it a meme or a viral?

    Have you seen the firefighter edition, Spider-Man and a chicken, grandparents, Peanuts, Original Army, university, office, Facebook employees, LinkedIn employees every advertising or creative agency in the town edition?

    Do you believe it is an outcome of a formula ‘seeded’ to go viral or one of those perennial co-incidences of the mindless internet.

    With over 3 million mentions till day, this is already fast becoming a pet topic of debate, discussion, ridicule, admiration from celebrities to marketers. In two words its called –

    Harlem Shake

    I had requested my colleagues from the Insights Practice to pull out some data to assess the reach of the Harlem Shake in terms of conversations globally and they shared a quick deck with some top-level data (deck below)


    The share of conversations for Harlem Shake out of India, over the past week, as the video touched 2 million in US alone, stood at less than 5,000. After globally peaking on 16 February (6,29,513 conversations)  there has been a drop in conversations over 17 and 18 February (see deck).


    I personally enjoyed a post titled ‘The Science Behind Why The Harlem Shake Is So Popular’ done by TechCrunch. While we can keep debating if indeed there is a formula, this is what the author feels –

    A five-minute video? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Not to watch one, or to make one. But Harlem Shake dance videos are capped at 30 seconds…

    Give people a formula, and they’ll substitute in their own variables. Most people just aren’t all that creative. They’re not going to come up with some entertaining meme on their own. With a little structure, though, our minds fill in the blanks.

    To break it down, the Harlem Shake meme is:

    [14T x (A1 + V1)] => Δ => [14T x (A2 + V2)] => [2T x (A3+V3)]


    [14 seconds of (build-up music) played as (one person passively dances while others linger around them motionless)] then an instant video cut to [14 seconds of (bombastic dance music) played as (many people dance aggressively)] then [2 seconds of (a slurring sound) and (slow-motion video of the aggressive dancing)]

    You can read the complete post here.

    Will Harlem Shake go the Gangnam Style way or like many of the flash in the pan memes it has already lived its moment of glory?

    We’ll wait to see.


    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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