Has Harlem Shake jumped the shark? Pepsi jumps on viral trend
By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
The "Harlem Shake" (Jeff Gordon Edition). (YouTube)
The Harlem Shake craze is all of two weeks old, and already it's become one of the most inescapable--and inexplicable--memes in recent memory.
A search on YouTube for "Harlem Shake" turns up 8.8 million results: according to the site's Trends blog, there were 40,000 unique videos with more than 175 million views on February 15. There are almost certainly more now.
But has it crossed over the line between "all the rage" and "over it"?
If you ask us, the Harlem Shake lost the plot when it went mainstream. Part of the charm of the videos was their very lo-fi style: a single shot, usually in wide-angle, no bells and whistles, just a guy dancing in a helmet and then a giant dance party. Many of the videos featured a single slow-motion moment, but that was as fancy as it got.
So when Pepsi uploaded a video of its various beverages taking the place of the dancers, it was something of a bridge too far. The meme had gone from viral sensation to mainstream as a corporate giant hijacked it for advertising purposes: