Over 60 Ad Agencies Have Harlem Shake Videos

Brands Like Pepsi, Chili's Getting in on the Played-Out Meme

By Published on .

While Simon Dumenco implored adland to forgo the tired "Harlem Shake" meme, seems like no one was listening.

W&K Portland's version of the Harlem Shake
W&K Portland's version of the Harlem Shake

A staggering 60 agencies --and counting-- have already put their own spin on the Internet phenomenon, according to a Tumblr that's been set up just to collect examples, called "Harlem Shake Agency." So far there have been videos by shops including TBWA Paris, Grey Moscow, DDB Barcelona and M&C Saatchi Johannesburg -- evidence, clearly, that the meme has gone international.

The makers of the site didn't get back to our requests for comment about how and why they created the site, which you can check out here.

Even Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, which is arguably the most venerable, and least susceptible to memes of all shops, did one. (It should be noted, though, that W&K's video was done seven days ago, before the cast of the Today Show committed, in the words of The Atlantic's David Wagner, "meme murder.")

Still worse, brands are getting in on the action with their own videos. Pepsi posted a video to its YouTube page yesterday, featuring a bunch of soda cans doing the moves, while Chili's and A&W both got in on the act - Chili's with a home-video quality performance inside a restaurant, and A&W Restaurants with a black-and-white film titled "Circa 1974" that had The Great Root Beer shaking his stuff. The employees of Facebook and Google debuted their own versions Tuesday.

The next-generation is also in on it, with rival ad schools each posting their own versions. Students at VCU Brandcenter released a video Feb. 9., while Miami Ad School South Beach unveiled theirs a couple of days later.

Our only hope is that everyone is fully and truly getting the meme out of their systems. Shake it off people, please. We don't want to write about this ever again.

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