2013 — On January 23rd, 2013 – 2 weeks after Baaur’s “The Harlem Shake” dropped on iTunes, still unrelated FilthyFrank uploads this “How To Dubstep”video with his character PINK GUY. At this time, his facebook page which claims he “once tripped and had anal sex with himself” has less than 4,500 likes.
On January 30th he uploads his Compilation #6 – Smell My Fingers video with the Harlem Shake short introduction. This video still only has 322,347 views, but his viewers were asking for more shake. So on February 2nd – he gives them the original Harlem Shake which now has over 10,900,000 views.
“yall naughty fellas wanted the full separate version of HARLEM SHAKE SO HERE IT IS.
SHARE IT WITH YO FRANS XOXO
Over the next 2 days, 257 of Filthy Frank’s fans share the video, 908 like it and 84 people comment on his original post. A Filthy Remix even pops up and somewhere in the mix people start uploading their own versions. A few of the early videos gained even more views than Filthy Frank’s original, so he re-posted the original to his now growing facebook fan-base on February 6th…
“some swagfag guys made a harlem shake video right after ours and it’s obviously copied. and it’s getting crazy views. but we stand strong, because we have the power of each individual filthy character. don’t forget where you came from, and stay filthy.”
This repost gained another 105 shares, 1,239 likes and 116 comments to propel the Harlem Shake to the masses of the interManets. The competition was on and the creatives started uploading. ImAfricanJesus began a playlist of his Harlem Shake consumptions. CollegeHumor was #9 on the list. By February 9th ImAfricanJesus quit adding Harlem Shakes to his consumption playlist stopping at 47 videos.
On February 8th, the new york times posted an article relating winter storm Nemo + the Harlem Shake as a way to pass your time while being stuck indoors. Filthy Frank posts the article and it gains 38 shares, 858 likes and 150 comments from his fan base. The Chive, Break, Buzzfeed, and Maker Studios out of LA created job campaigns out of their versions of the Harlem Shake which proved the shake could definitely be used for marketing traction. Musical talent Matt and Kim even jumped into the mix.
A good friend of mine, Jason McWilliams, preached the Harlem Shake to Copper Mountain Ski Area on Saturday, February 9th. By February 11th, around 12,000 “Harlem Shake” videos had been posted with a collective 44 million views. One of my favorite and most creative versions was posted by the UGA Men’s Swim and Dive team on February 11th.
On February 12th, Copper Mountain dropped their Harlem Shake creation, which is when I first took notice of the completely random sensation. We recorded our random version on February 13th in Silverton, CO and nearly had the mountain convinced to shoot and upload what I still believe would be the most epic Harlem Shake ever. Conceptually you couldn’t beat a helicopter hovering behind a bunch of Bent Gate Silverton Sick Days skiers and riders dancing their asses off by the rental bus at Silverton. I blame myself, and partially Devin Rhinehart for not TSOIGDH’ng and following through with this one.
The Today Show ripped their own version on February 14th, officially killing the interManets viral meme formerly known as the “Harlem Shake”. To put an exclamation point on it, McWilliams walled me this one just to be sure. Filthy Frank now has over 47,000 likes and 125,000 YouTube Subscribers and overall he seems pretty modest about creating the sensation and actually makes fun of his post Harlem Shake audience.
This completes your Hydle write up and review of what catalysts enabled a creative meme to go Viral. I’m actually pretty surprised the Adelia Shake didn’t take off.