Remember the innocent days when things going viral on the web seemed like happy accidents? Wired’s latest feature will certainly dispel some of those notions, as it investigates the role social-media promotion agencies are playing in some of the viral dance memes that have been fuelling hit singles in recent times.
“Marketing agencies and labels are formalising the use of organic online culture to help create viral moments,” as it explains, citing a recent #UnforgettableDanceChallenge by/for rapper French Montana.
The piece explores the role played by MCN DanceOn in Silento’s 2015 hit ‘Watch Me’ as well as Universal Music’s hiring of marketing agency PizzaSlime to drive last year’s ‘Black Beatles’ / #MannequinChallenge.
There are some good po-faced soundbites, from the phrase “fed it to the youth” to “dances and music tend to make the song better”. But the article is a useful summary of the way memes are being generated with labels, for better or worse – Katy Perry’s awkward #BonAppetitChallenge being one example of the latter.