Last week I got railroaded into my participating in my first meme. The Harlem Shake explosion and (just as rapid) fizzle gives us a few learnings in how to generate momentum, and hopefully cross over to the mainstream for online-led content.
It’s something to think about when tasked with video-led, ‘viral’ briefs – how are we making this thing appeal to people’s instinct to involve themselves (firstly with a share, and even better, by making their own!)?
Harlem Shake went crazy as it covered off a few things I reckon:
- Anonymity – the element of disguise protects those who don’t want to be called out.
- The definition of snackable – leading to the ‘just one more’ when viewing it, and related versions.
- Fun – it’s actually entertaining to be involved and to watch.
- A network – requiring high numbers of people from a base participation level means a wider network of friends/followers to kickstart the content.
- Accessible – low production, easy to edit.
But the key element in this case is the formula the TechCrunch article mentions. It’s very easy to take the format and tweak/personalise/build/own it.
We need to inject these types of elements into our content briefs – especially as clients are demanding more and more participation. Perhaps dissecting successful templates like the Harlem Shake is a good starting point.
And for the record, the BMF Harlem Shake went down like this.