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mannequin challenge

Dakarai Turner, Malick Ba, Weekly Recap

2016 Annual Recap – The Top 5 Highlights of the Year

December 30, 2016

It goes without saying that 2016 has been quite the year. We’ve witnessed a controversial new president become elected, a fairly high number of celebrity deaths, and of course a plethora of great memes. With all of this going on, we wanted to put together five key moments of the year in relation to advertising and marketing. Check out our recap of 2016 below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

Instagram’s Competitive Year

Instagram’s new logo introduced in 2016

M: Instagram made some serious competitive moves in 2016. As any frequent Instagram user would know, the ability to display a photo or video for a limited period of time on their profile (also known as a “Story”) was added into the photo sharing app this year. The addition of this allowed fun instances in time to be displayed to whoever is a part of your network. The significance of this more importantly shows competitive action to Snapchat (who basically invented the idea of the Story). From personal experience, a lot of people in my network use their Instagram Story to link off to their Snapchat handle which seems to be counter productive from Instagram’s standpoint, by adding this function in it allows for insight on Instagram’s development from a competitive point of view.

 

Recently, Instagram also added in the ability to “like” comments on someone’s photos which was not previously available. With the importance of staying competitive in the social media game, these additions have really allowed Instagram to develop into an all-purpose platform rather than strictly having the app used for photo sharing. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it develops further in 2017.

Pokémon GO Goes Global

D: If you had told me in 2015 that a year later I’d be walking around downtown staring at my phone and catching Pokémon, I probably would have laughed in your face. To the world’s surprise, this is exactly what happened this past summer. The augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go was an instant success from the day it was released on the app store. It became quite normal to walk outside and see groups of tweens, teens, adults, and even your grand parents walking around with their phones stuck to their faces in hopes of catching that evasive Pikachu. Because of the games early success, we saw quite the phenomenon with large corporations and small businesses getting involved.

Over the summer, retailers began to offer incentives such as discounts, free WI-FI, and phone charging stations for Pokémon Go players. Fast-forward to the end of 2016 and the game is certainly not as popular as it was in the summer. However, the brand is still trying to figure out new ways to keep the game alive! It will be interesting to see what they do in the new year.

 
R.I.P. Vine

King Bach, Vine star

M: While we did talk about this in one of our previous recaps, Vine’s disappearance from the social media world was a hot topic in 2016. In 2013, Vine was the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining platforms that I’ve ever witnessed. Users could record short video loops of anything they wanted. This turned into what I like to call “YouTube on crack”. Internet personalities like King Bach (pictured right), Jerome Jarre, and Brittany Furlan figured out how to use Vine for entertainment and used those as extensions to their also popular YouTube channels. For me personally, Vine was a lot of fun but I didn’t get on it until years after it was popular. However, 2016 claimed the six-second social media innovation for its own. With a lack of staying current, the development of Snapchat, and the success of Instagram, there was simply no room for Vine. This is the first time that I was there for the development of a social media platform as well as its end, so for me it came down to one thing: Vine’s lack of progress in recent years goes to show that staying competitive in any sphere of advertising and marketing is a key for success.

 

The Meme Takeover

D: Every year we have our fair share of memes and viral hits, but for 2016 there were two that stood out. Although completely separate on the surface, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe had similarities. For starters, they were “brand-proof”. Unlike, the “Damn Daniel” meme that was easily attached to Vans shoes, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe were both created organically and didn’t carry a brand attachment.

The Mannequin Challenge started in November in a High School classroom, and quickly turned into a video fad where groups of people would pose in a typically funny way as if they were mannequins. Simple, funny, and cooperative were the driving factors for this meme’s success.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

 

The Harambe meme was one of those things that came as a surprise to everyone. Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla that was shot and killed after a child fell in its enclosure became idolized in 2016. All sorts of merchandise, songs, videos, and candlelight vigils were done in the honour of this Gorilla.

What’s important for brand’s to realize is that they don’t have to be involved in every single thing that happens in 2016. If you have nothing innovative or relevant to contribute when the next big meme comes out, it’s best to just not participate. Leave it for the people to enjoy!

The MAD Mix Won Big!

D: As many of you may know, we took home the “Student Marketer of the Year” award at the CAMP Marketing Awards in November. This was a tremendous accomplishment for us as we’ve done our best to grow The MAD Mix to new heights this past year. What started as a blog that Malick and myself wrote for, quickly extended to a platform that has welcomed over 30 different guest writers across North America. In 2017, we hope to continue to explore new opportunities with The MAD Mix through the addition of new features, team members, and hopefully another shiny award. Check out some of our photos of the event below!

 

That’s our recap of 2016’s best. You can check out all of our previous weekly recap’s here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy New Year!

Dakarai Turner

Behind the Meme: The Mannequin Challenge

November 15, 2016

The month of November kicked off in a interesting way to say the least, with the creation and explosion of the Mannequin Challenge. What started as a Twitter video recorded in a Colony High School classroom, later became used at concerts, in NFL locker rooms, talk shows, and even the White House. For those of you that haven’t seen the video that started it all, check it out below.

To give you an idea of just how big the challenge has been so far, it’s reached over 4 million mentions on Twitter since November 1st, and reached over 16 million mentions on Instagram. Now with almost every meme, there is usually someone that benefits from it the most. In this case it’s the rap duo by the name of ‘Rae Sremmurd‘. The rappers have managed to attach their hit song “Black Beatles” to the viral trend, by doing the challenge with their fans on stage to the song. This basically sparked a boatload of challenges that came afterwards. Although the first video didn’t even include any sound, the duo hopped on the trend quick enough to tie their song with the challenge.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

So what has made the Mannequin Challenge resonate so well with just about everyone? Here are 3 reasons: It’s easy, it’s a group activity, and everyone’s favourite part..it’s brandless.

Easy

After participating in two separate Mannequin Challenges myself, it’s not as easy as it looks to stand still for so long. However, the last thing I would say is that this challenge is difficult. All you need to do is strike a pose with your friends while someone records it, and boom! You’ve joined the trend.

 

Group Activity

Everything is funner when you’re doing it with your friends. The larger the group, the better the video. This trend started with a classroom, and now has sports teams, restaurants, and even regular work offices jumping in to give it a shot. When you can do things as a team it makes it that much more enjoyable and also shareable. Just think about if the original person had one person standing still. Would it have caught any steam? Check out my work office doing the challenge below.

Brandless

As I mentioned in my article about the Harambe meme, there is something special about a meme in which you can’t easily trace the origin. A lot of people don’t really know why this challenge started or even why Rae Sremmurd’s song is playing in the background. But one thing I could say is that if it was the #PepsiMannequinChallenge, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Maybe I’m wrong with that thought, but I truly believe that the authentic and simple nature of the Mannequin Challenge is the reason why it’s taken over the internet.

What do you think of this final thought. If a brand had started and was heavily associated with the Mannequin Challenge, would the appeal to be a part of it still be there?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.