Social Status: Harlem Shake campaigns

(LIN) —  It’s not uncommon to see YouTube trends come and go (Remember the “Call Me Maybe” air punches?), but it’s always fun to watch politicians get involved.

So, if you haven’t spent 30 seconds of your life watching a Harlem shake video on YouTube, you might be missing out.

It’s annoying yet mesmerizing at the same time.

It all starts when an unknown dancer enters the picture wearing a mask of some sort, gyrating out of control. When the beat drops, everyone in the room flails around to the beat.

Bad dancer? No problem. Just grab a prop and shake uncontrollably. The more awkward the dance moves, the better.

The beauty of the Harlem Shake is that anyone can participate. Just be sure the camera’s rolling and there’s someone who can upload it to YouTube.  You are practically guaranteed millions of video views. The University of Georgia swim team did the dance underwater, and the Norwegian army danced in the snow.

Running for political office? Have your campaign staff join the Harlem shake party like Sandy Stimpson, who is running for mayor in Mobile, Ala. In one week, the video has received more than 18,000 views.


And the political buy-in seems to have spread across the country. Los Angeles mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez posted his own Harlem Shake, inviting people to join his “innovative, energetic, and fresh campaign.”

So, is politicians doing the Harlem Shake a slick strategy that can attract a different demographic or a desperate cry for attention?

Maybe it’s both.

One thing that is painfully obvious, Harlem Shake videos popping up everywhere, and tend to go viral much quicker than basic local attack ads. It’s simple math – campaigns are expensive, and posting videos on YouTube is cheap.

And sometimes, like it or not, sometimes you just have to dance.

Social Status is biweekly feature following politicians on social media sites and across the Internet. Follow @onPolitix on Twitter or like onPolitix on Facebook.

Copyright 2014 LIN TV News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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