March 05, 2013

Which Company Shakes it Best? Comparing Harlem Shake Social Media Campaigns


Okay, we all now know what the Harlem Shake is. We’ve done “The Bernie,” kicked it “Gangnam Style” and have planked on as many bizarre surfaces we could think of. In fact, the word “Planking” can even be found on Wikipedia, and is defined as “an activity consisting of lying face down – sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location.” But now, a newly viral YouTube musical creation is – as if you even had to guess – shaking things up quite a bit.

TechZone360 reported a couple of weeks back that the “Harlem Shake,” a YoutTube-influenced phenomenon sparked by producer Baauer, debuted at No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and Streaming Songs charts, as well as jumped from number 12 to 1 on Dance/Electronic Songs with over 100 million views. Essentially, the concept – a video no longer than 30-seconds – includes one person dancing for the first half alone in a group of blissfully unaware people, who suddenly join the solo dancer during the concluding half with unidentifiable yet extremely energetic moves.

Check out the video below to listen to the song in full that inspired the dance:


What many may not have realized is that while watching these brief Harlem Shake takes are pretty funny and for the most part entertaining, this phenomenon is seriously enticing businesses to stay with the fads to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. A business’ first priority is to make the customer happy, and sometimes, that is achieved simply by showing that they are relatable to the majority of their customers’ interests. Now what better way to do that then through social media?

Even right now as I type in YoutTube.com, the featured video immediately shown on the company’s homepage is a rendition of the Harlem Shake by the Miami HEAT.

Thankfully, AllFacebook has released an official infographic that breaks it down for us to show which social media managers shook things up the most – and who rose to the occasion to beat out the rest with the most “likes,” “shares,” and views.

Reportedly, over 30 reputable brands have uploaded their unique version of the Harlem Shake to YouTube, but the infographic only highlights a handful of companies who successfully managed to catch the public’s eye.

Let’s start with Topshop, a British-founded retailer with 440 shops worldwide that specializes in women’s fashion and accessories. The best thing about Topshop is that the company has already established a pretty solid following, as it does an excellent job of appealing to both the mass public and higher clientele. How high? This week, Kate Middleton was seen shopping for maternity wear at a London-based store; however, I feel more welcome than ever when I get the chance to drop in and shop when I’m in NYC.

The company released the video below two weeks ago consisting of supermodels Cara Delevingne, Rosie Tapner and Jourdan Dunn backstage at the Topshop Unique AW13 Show doing the Harlem Shake. The video quickly accumulated 1,249,166 views as of today, coming in at number five of the top six listed by AllFacebook.



The runner up in AllFacebook’s line-up – having accumulated 4,621,774 views as of today and what the infographic calls “the Harlem Shake to end all Harlem Shakes” – is Red Bull. The company did an impressive sky diving version of the fad, which I have to say, is pretty awesome. The company explains underneath he video, “It seems that everyone is making Harlem Shake videos, and to be honest it’s about time to close this chapter of the Internet. That’s why we decided to go out in style.”




After watching that, it seems almost impossible that Pepsi beat Redbull out for the No. 1 spot among the top 30 brands to do the Shake, but that’s exactly what the company did with the help of Jeff Gordon and his crew. The video even has a racecar with Pepsi’s logo on the hood magically appear, which helped the video gain an astounding 5,530,095 views as of today. See the video for yourself below:



Among the lower ranking companies in the YouTube race to shake were Nintendo, which got about 258,000 views, HootSuite, which got about 100,000 and Intel, which received about 87,000.

Pepsi, Red Bull and Topshop are all in the running in The Shorty Industry Awards, the most prestigious awards in social media that recognizes company’s innovative campaigns. This just goes to show how incredibly pervasive social media is and will continue to be, as well as how huge of a force it can be when combined with pop culture to create and strengthen brand awareness. 

Which company do you think should win, and which is your favorite among the many?

To see AllFacebook’s infographic in full, click here.



Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli



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