Hashtag Mannequin Challenge – Challenge or an Internet Rabbit Hole?

SADAF    March 20, 2017

It has been almost six months since a video made by a group of friends at Edward H. White High school went viral on the internet and social media. Mannequin Challange is what this video is known for, Although the name ” Mannequin Challange” implies some challenge or contest, in reality there wasn’t any, or at least it is unknown to me at this point.

This is how the story started for me, surfing on my Instagram account quite while ago, found an entertaining video made by group of close friends in the middle east in which, they were all frozen in action as if the time machine stops them all but the background sound was still alive and playing, filmed by a moving camera, I was quite mesmerized the way the video was professionally shot, and the idea was lit and quite entertaining. In fact, it got me and peaked my curiosity. I started to look for more detailed information on the video then the caption under the post;

# MannequinChallenge

Unbelievable what I found, hundreds of funny videos on Hollywood stars, NBA, NFL  athletes, and some videos posted on social media from people across the world in a variety of different situations, funny that this trend even found it’s way in the corporate world amongst employees in some companies.

If you see some of these videos on the internet, you will instantly realize there is no significant purpose behind this challenge as participants are not promoting awareness or anything like the ALS Ice Bucket Challange. The ALS Ice Bucket Challange was to promote awareness of the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encourage people to donate for a research finding the cure for this disease.

But the fact that it has entertaining value for the viewer and no requirements for particular skill set made it easy and fun for some people to welcome the idea and replicate it in many different creative fashions, even I made one in my work’s 2017 Christmas party!

If you look at the way the original video finds its way out, it is for sure and by 100% with the use of social media. It is amazing how the trend can spread across the globe from a city in the USA all the way to some countries in the Middle East.  The spread in that scale with this pace couldn’t be possible without the help of the social media, this actually explains how powerful social media is in promoting a meme, behaviour and influencing group of people in a place that almost everyone has access to with minimum price, it somehow summarizes the marketing mix all in one platform ;

Price, Promotion, Place, Product.

To me the product, in this case, was the video of “Mannequin Challange” itself with zero cost to the audience which equates to zero price, in social media platform, where is the only place promoting and showcasing it and let’s be fair, it was a successful project.

Lessons for Others

The impact of social media is so high that even a simple video can spread amongst people who don’t know each other and encourage them to replicate the move.

If you are an individual who follows politics, you probably saw a video of Clinton’s  Mannequin Challange on Clinton’s official Twitter page where Hillary and her presidential campaign members shot a Mannequin Challange video on her campaign plane in 2016 USA election day encouraging people not to stand still and vote for their presidential candidate.

In my opinion, this whole story shows the impact of the Social Media in creating behavior and market it, so people become aware of their surroundings and take educated decisions in every day of their life.

Organization: Internet Videos
Industry: Viral Internet Video
Name of Organization Contact: Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville,USA

Authored by: Sadaf Pashandi

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