The #BostonShake: Reviving an Internet Meme

The #BostonShake: Reviving an Internet Meme


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By Don Martelli, director of Digital Integration and Social Business

Internet memes are fun, crazy, out of this world and sometimes just unexplainable. In terms of their popularity, it is usually gained and lost in a blink of an eye, i.e. the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

The Harlem Shake is one such meme that some say jumped the shark, a phrase commonly used to signify when something has lost its popularity.

Well, we at Schneider Associates wanted to test a theory: what if you took a dying Internet meme like the Harlem Shake and injected it with social media hype and let word-of-mouth take over?

The answer?



To get people in Boston to take part in the video, we went to Twitter, asking online influencers such as@BostonTweet and @UniversalHub to promote a flash-mob style Harlem Shake. We used the hashtag #BostonShake, driving consumers to a Facebook events page.

The rest was history.

Not only did we have over 50 people participate, but there were just as many onlookers, including media representatives from WBUR, WHDH-TV (NBC Affiliate), WBZ-TV (CBS Affiliate) and

Guess the Harlem Shake hasn’t jumped the shark yet.


Schneider Associates is one of the leading Boston PR firms and integrated marketing agencies successfully launching and accelerating visibility and growth for new products, services, companies, institutions, and communities through a mix of traditional public relations and marketing programs, digital marketing and social media strategies, influencer and experiential campaigns. We also specialize in public affairs, reputation management and crisis communications programs. Schneider Associates is certified by SOMWBA as a woman-owned business.