Who Hasn’t Done the Harlem Shake?

Everywhere I look, someone is posting a video of the Harlem Shake on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube! I have seen Jimmy John’s employees shaking it, middle school children shaking it in prep for the upcoming ISTEP, the Simpsons, you name it! These videos have gone viral. The “Harlem Shake” song came out of nowhere and went from being unknown to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart Feb. 20. Billboard just added YouTube views to the way it ranks the Top 100 songs.The videos are entertaining and it’s interesting to see each one’s different creative aspects.  People are even going so far as to organize a rendition of the Harlem Shake on an airplane! Yep! ‘Shakes on a Plane!’ 🙂


NPR reports that while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hasn’t mentioned any specific violations from the clip that was shared across Internet and social media sites, they said they’ll be looking into whether or not the amount of passengers jumping around in the aisle — around the 15-second mark of the video — is in violation of the plane’s mid-flight safety regulations, even though the video’s creator had permission by the flight staff and other passengers to do the video. Perhaps the sky is the limit on the Harlem Shake? This makes me wonder, what is considered taking a trend too far?

Creating this kind of buzz fits into the parameters of “buzz marketing”, but getting the FAA or other criminal investigative organizations involved in a simple video creation seems a bit out of control. Creating buzz is relatively inexpensive (most of these videos are created by individuals just wanting to join in on the fun, using their own cameras and equipment); they are unique, where each encounter looks like a spontaneous event and is highly desirable to the 20-something’s; and is the rise of the Internet – carrying an unknown/unheard of song to the top of the music charts. Personally, these videos are what I would consider to be the newest version of a flash mob. I’m sitting here wondering what’s next? The Harlem Shake was fun for a minute, but I’m over it now…