Viral idea: The Harlem Shake

We’re sure you’ve all heard of The Harlem Shake, because you’re all super social savvy legends, like us. But just in case your grandma’s reading this, The Harlem Shake is an internet meme (a concept that spreads from person to person via the internet), or viral video idea, that has taken YouTube by storm.

A quick YouTube search will reveal not only reams and reams of comedy clips set to a 30 second excerpt of the music track by Baauer, but ‘top 10’ and ‘best of’ edits too. A Harlem Shake viral typically begins with one person in a group of otherwise still or non-participating people dancing to the start of the song. After around 15 seconds, when the song’s bass drops, the video will cut to the same scene but this time everyone’s dancing. Fancy dress invariably plays a role in the humorous tone of the footage.

A simple, accessible idea, that’s very easy to replicate, taking next to no time or money to put together, which everyone can feel part of – the hallmarks of all the very best ideas.

Conceived in February of this year by a bunch of teenagers in Queensland, Australia, it has already been suggested to me that The Harlem Shake is passé. The lightning speed at which the digital world now turns means, alas, that this could be the case. So, here’s one that we particularly like for you to enjoy/share as you see fit. We’re loving the Barack Obama mask.


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