Bust A Move: The Harlem Shake Has Hit The Ad World — And Beyond

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February 18, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
A still of a Harlem Shake video.

A still of a Harlem Shake video.

This is Internet craze that seems to have no limit—you have grandmas doing it, even basketball players in Cape Verde, Africa. All across the globe everyone is doing the Harlem Shake. Though the dances in the clips don’t actually seem to be the real Harlem Shake, the video versions have already gotten more than 44 million views, reports the Mercury News.

So far YouTube has logged 12,000-plus Harlem Shake videos uploaded.

If you remember the Harlem Shake, it was back in the 80s that it was initially popularized. Then in 2011 it became a craze again when New York based DJ Baauer released a track by that name. “Then in late January, four dudes in unitards and masks posted a video under the vlogger name “Filthy Frank” in what is now considered the production that launched a thousand more videos,” reports the newspaper.

But now Madison Avenue has picked up the fad.  “A staggering 60 agencies –and counting– have already put their own spin on the Internet phenomenon, according to a Tumblr that’s been set up just to collect examples, called ‘Harlem Shake Agency’,” writes Ad Age. Some of the companies doing the Halrem Shake to promote themselves are:  TBWA Paris, Grey Moscow, DDB Barcelona, M&C Saatchi Johannesburg, Wieden & Kennedy in Portland.

And of course, the ad agencies are using the concept to promote their clients and their products with the Harlem Shake, such as Pepsi, which recently posted a video to its YouTube page featuring a bunch of soda cans doing the dance. Chili’s, A&W, Facebook and Google have all debuted their own versions.

Here’s the Bossip Harlem Shake. Have you done the it lately?

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  • Reese

    That’s definitely not the Harlem Shake that Bow Wow and them had me doing and had me looking the fool in the process. This new Harlem Shake is corny.

  • Wow

    This must be the post gentrification Harlem shake b/c it’s not the one I remember Puffy and em doing back in them Hype Williams videos.

  • mochaaa

    Smh this is not the Harlem shake I remember doing in the 4th grade. Smh white people know how to take something fck it up and make it popular

  • bluekissess

    Absolutely dumb. It looks like Harlem has a lot of crack heads

  • Jenn

    This is not the Harlem shake.