Tag Archives: Harlem Shake

When Worlds Collide: Traditional and Digital Media

27 Feb

If you haven’t treated yourself to at least a few “Harlem Shake” YouTube videos either a) you’re an Amish Mennonite and you’re probably not reading this post or b) you’ve been on a 6-month-long sabbatical on a desert island, and in that case, welcome back!

Allow news channel KSLA to elaborate on the latest dance video craze to sweep the YouTube world in this brief newscast clip:

Did you see that?! DID YOU SEE THAT?! They DID their OWN version of the Harlem Shake! ::mind blown::

Now, as I’m picking up the pieces of my blown mind, let me elaborate on why I’m so excited about this. I’m not posting this video simply because it’s an amazing and hilarious spin on the Harlem Shake YouTube trend, nor am I purely amused by professionals taking a moment to act a little silly. I’m interested in instances like this because it shows an example of the successful merging of digital and traditional media and the potential for positive viral marketing.

In the past few years, there’s been a rising trend in the cross over of YouTube and traditional broadcast news. This transpires in a couple of standard ways. Occasionally news casts attempt to seem hip and relevant by talking about the week’s funny cat video, which usually just feels forced and falls kind of flat. More often then not, YouTube users turn to newscasts to create video after video of newscaster “fails” and other entertaining mishaps.

However, this time KSLA was in on the joke and in the process marketed themselves throughout the nation with over 8 million YouTube views (including dozens of spin offs beyond this original post) resulting in the type of viral marketing that some stations could only dream of. They turned to YouTube to report on relevant pop culture news and did so in a fun and entertaining way that aligned with the very spirit of YouTube videos, thereby turning their newscast ABOUT a YouTube video INTO a successful YouTube video. It’s like we’re in the MATRIX!

As traditional media seeks to remain relevant in an increasingly digital age, KSLA was a refreshing example of how- when approached in a creative and fun way- traditional news media doesn’t always have to take itself so seriously and can benefit from the viral nature of YouTube by becoming YouTube fodder for the right reasons.