Harlem Shake, my Kids and the Army of Norway
The Internet was just about to start, when I entered filmschool. It was 1995, and it took my schools commercial department about ten years to discover the power of the Net and to start teaching viral marketing as well as shooting for viral campaigns. – And even though the industry discovered the power of cross-media, it did take the other departments of my filmschool a little bit longer to understand.
Well, actually, still today I see emerging filmmakers trying to aim for Internet and Web series’, yes, I even shot myself some. I see TV stations try and reach out to the users…but…what shall I say:
No filmmakers out there in the Vlogo-Sphere.
In fact it’s my kids being the ones that keep me up to date. Grown up as “natives”, knowing how to browse the Net long before they could read or write, they consume next to cinema and VoD/DVD mainly content especially produced for the Internet. Being native German speakers, the boys even started watching American Youtubers long before they had English at school.
Y-Titty, 1.3 mio subscribers and 318 mio views as by today, are perhaps the most successful German Youtubers. They are known outside Germany/Switzerland and Austria mainly for their Goyte parody (there’s English subtitles, just you turn on the captions!).
Ok. Enough surfing. Back to my point. I mean: 1.3 mio subscribers! Any nationwide German newspaper can only dream of this! 318 mio views! For just about 200 videos! And Y-Titty is only group one of many. And there’s not only parodies. There’s Let’s Plays (commented computer games recorded whilst the makers are playing), there’s great and smart comedy, done by self-doubting clever artists (or is it unemployed middle-aged people!?) with a very amazing black humor like Dr. Allwissend, there are shameless promotions of course and companies wanting to jump on the band-wagon trying more or less successfully to play the viral game…
…there’s the unpredicted hypes, nobody would have ever thought of. The attention every marketing director and film school student is dreaming about. You all heard definitely about Gangnam Style. Well, that was yesterday and is oh so 2012!
What the world is on to now is the Harlem Shake.
There’s entire Youtube “Best Of” playlists, there are companies and unis doing it, there’s animated versions, Minecraft Harlem Shake and of course the first pretty funny anti-Harlem Shake videos by Harlem Shake haters.
The first type of Harlem Shake videos was uploaded on February the 2nd, 2013, by some teenagers. The little clips all over the Net are all done the same way and only about 30 seconds long. Today, February 22nd, not even three weeks later, it’s a hype with several major companies “Harlem Shaking” and the song Harlem Shake by US DJ Baauer, that was no commercial success since its release in Summer 2012 and that the videos are based on, was sky-rocketed up to be the current Billboard Hot 100 as well as Dance/Electronic Songs number 1 hit in the US.
I’m such a big fan of the commons, and this is another example for them to work. The song has been released as a free download. and only when people took it and reused it - unauthorised - it became a commercial success.
The biggest success so far is with the Scandinavians. The best image improvement any army can make, the Norwegian Army gets it all for free from a 19-year-old soldier, Kenneth Håkonsen, who filmed and put online a Harlem Shake with his Norwegian Army squad. – Could not more armies be that way? Best during war times…it would force the world’s leaders to find other solutions than sending simply an army over…
Oh and in case you thought, only non-serious funny stuff can make it viral on the Internet, watch this here. Science! – Two quadrocopters capable of balancing, throwing and catching a pole by IDSC, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Over 600.000 clicks in less than three days.