You didn’t make the Harlem Shake go viral—corporations did

I never found “Harlem Shake” videos to be very interesting, or particularly creative, or memeworthy. Here’s a good exploration.

“Single Ladies,” “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe,” and Psy’s “Gangnam Style” were made by professionals and first imitated by professionals—Saturday Night Live in the case of “Single Ladies,” indie Canadian band Walk Off The Earth in the case of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” and Justin Bieber in the case of “Call Me Maybe”—then later by fans and amateurs. “Harlem Shake,” was a meme made by an amateur, George Miller, but its rapid replication was driven by media and marketing professionals, led and orchestrated by three companies: Maker Studios, Mad Decent, and IAC. You didn’t make the Harlem Shake go viral—corporations did – Quartz.