[audio:https://sportsgeekhq.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/HarfTimeHarlemShake-2.mp3|titles=Harf Time – Harlem Shake]
Kelly: It’s time to talk sport and put a bit of a digital media spin on it, our digital media guru Sean Callanan is up nice and early for this Saturday morning. Morning Sean!
Sean: Morning Kelly!
Kelly: What’s caught your eye this week?
Sean: Oh it’s not just this week but all through pretty much February the Harlem Shake is taking over the internet.
Kelly: Now I’m pleased you brought this up because can you explain something for me? What is the Harlem Shake?
Sean: So the Harlem Shake is an internet meme, it’s a You Tube meme and it’s pretty much, been doing a bit of research on it, it’s going so viral there are so many different copies of it. Apparently it’s been attributed to a couple of teenagers in Queensland that have done the first one.
Sean: Apparently. The way it goes is there’s a song Harlem Shake by a band called Bower, so maybe Francis will have to put that on his playlist soon. So that plays and it just sort of builds and builds, and the video goes that you have one guy just dancing and everyone else is not paying attention. And then when the beat drops about fifteen seconds in, everyone goes crazy. So they’re dancing and costumes and it goes for about thirty seconds.
Kelly: Is this it? The Harlem Shake?
Sean: That might be it in the background, yes. So as it starts there’s a bit of head bobbing and dancing by the casual guy and then when it goes…
Kelly: You’re not going to make us do it are you?
Sean: No we’re not going to do it now, we might do the Grandstand Harlem Shake next week when Francis is back because I know he’s going to want to be involved.
Kelly: That’s our producer Con that’s got his finger on the beat there.
Sean: But you know an internet meme has hit its zenith when you get the best basketball player on the planet, Lebron James, joining in.
Kelly: I knew Portland had done this…
Sean: There have been a few sports teams jumping on the band wagon of it and there is a bit of how long is this thing got if you do it, if you done it too late, you don’t want to jump the shark and there is a bit of that with the Harlem Shake but if you haven’t checked out the Miami Heat version with Lebron James…
Kelly: The entire team.
Sean: The entire team in the locker room with Lebron James in full king gear, crown and red cape. Dwayne Wade in a full – what can only be described as a – furry bear costume. Chris Bosh as a pimp…
Kelly: These are the coolest dudes on the planet.
Sean: And they’ve done it, they’ve done it because that’s what their generation is consuming YouTube. We’ve seen how Matt Duffy from the Storm did one when they were over in the UK and he uploaded that on his own account. So you’ve got players doing it, you’ve got my son’s school has done one, so everyone has done one. If you haven’t starred in a Harlem Shake video you don’t know what you’re doing!
Kelly: So when does it become not cool anymore?
Sean: Well that’s to be decided. Last year we had Psy and Gangham Style and everyone did that and then it eventually fell off the cliff.
Kelly: When Novak Djokovic did that at the Australian Open I was going ‘That’s just weeks old and I’ve seen you do it a hundred times and it’s not funny’.
Sean: When we see the Today show do the Harlem Shake, put a line through it. So last year we had Call Me Maybe and everyone did that…
Kelly: Which one was that one?
Sean: I’m not going to start singing but the Carly Rae Call Me Maybe song. So the swimming teams did it but it’s even…
Kelly: And the British Olympic team did it.
Sean: Exactly. But there’s even been the Colorado College ultimate Frisbee team, yes there is actually a Frisbee team, did one on a plane when it was in mid air! And now the FFA in the States are now looking into it, but really Frontier Airlines where it was held can’t really complain because they did a Harlem Shake two days earlier in one of the airports while they were having a layover. So it’s pretty much everywhere at the moment! Hawthorn’s done it, I expect a few more Australian football teams maybe to do one, one or two. But yeah it’s a wonder how much it’s got left.
But Sport Centre put up a graphic, had to explain it to everybody who didn’t know what it was that it caused the Miami Heat Harlem Shake to get more coverage than NHL on sports centre. Quite funny and just a matter of you have to get in quick and get it done because after a while everyone will be saying ‘Not another Harlem Shake!’ But if you go to YouTube put in Harlem Shake, there you go that’s your afternoon, there’s four or five hours of viewing right there!
Kelly: Now you know everything about digital media, where do these things start? I mean could you and I this afternoon just sit there and think let’s come up with a concept and put it out there on YouTube, but how do people pick up on it?
Sean: That’s always the toughest brief. Everyone goes ‘Oh we’re going to do a video, we want it to be a viral video’. You can’t pick them. You can try to put elements that might be viral and in this case it’s copying it, but like I said earlier a couple of teenagers did it as a comedy sketch and it got picked up and people did copies of it. So it’s a bit hard to say, who would have thought that Gangham Style would have gone as big as it did. You can’t bank on it, it’s just pretty much…there’s a lot of people putting out a lot of content, there is a lot of people that do consume that short video type of stuff. If you put up enough wacky stuff, people will like it and if it’s something you can make your own version of it, that’s when it becomes its own thing, the original producers don’t get anything out of it, it just becomes this thing. Whereas Psy the guy behind Gangham Style made millions because so many people watched his YouTube clip and he got all that money off the YouTube advertising. So he’s actually made more money from YouTube advertising from people watching his video on You Tube than actually selling the record. And part of that is people doing copies.
Kelly: So from a club perspective, the Hawthorn officials or the Miami Heat officials if you can tell those boys what to do, but would they be happy with this? Are they happy that they get together, obviously it’s good sort of moral and things but the actual hits. I notice the Hawthorn Football Club put it out on their website. Is that a bonus, are they trying to push that?
Sean: Oh definitely. Because all their fans would love it. When you’re marketing as a club, you’re always marketing to your fans. If your fans will love it, it’s a no brainer. It doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it or doesn’t like or thinks it’s stupid. If Hawthorn fans thinks it’s awesome and gets people to the site and grows the brand and they share it with their mates and they share it on Facebook and it’s bringing people back to the site and they see the membership message, tick, tick, tick, it works on all the levels. So you’re always trying to come up with, the other clubs are coming out with their club TVCs, they really want those to come viral between the fans and share them but we’re getting desensitized to ads and things like that. So this is just another way to give a little bit of quirky content that gets out there. And I’m sure the Miami Heat digital guys didn’t go up to Lebron and say ‘Let’s do it’. I’m sure the Miami Heat players said we want to do one. And the fact that they all got dressed up in Halloween costumes to do, it does look like a player driven thing. I think when it’s a player driven thing and you see them having so much fun, I mean a shirtless Lebron James ‘crunking’ in front of the camera, it’s like he’s having fun, like big kids! So that’s great for the team.
Kelly: And when you say going viral, I mean how many hits could the Hawthorn footy club expect, what would be a good result and how many hits for Miami Heat?
Sean: Well Miami Heat is already up to 2.3 million after 48 hours. And on top of that there are all the views of people watching it on Sports Centre and all the TV networks who are going to be playing it. So again from a brain recognition point of view, it’s massive numbers. The other part of it is if the TV networks pick up the Hawthorn guys or it becomes part of the TV before the game where they have a bit of a joke, again it doesn’t make everything so serious because footy is a pretty serious game and you can sort of make sure you can have a laugh about it. So that’s the other thing. If the players are willing to make a little bit of fun of themselves and have a bit of fun in the process, then it’s a good win for everybody.
Kelly: Sean, thanks for coming in, we’ll catch you next week!
Sean: No worries!