The Mannequin Challenge : How do these things go viral?

Officially the coolest viral concept this decade without a doubt should be the Mannequin Challenge. I am sure a lot of people have seen some. It’s a powerful concept where people just stay still, like mannequins and the only thing that moves is the camera in 360 degree. Everyone seems to be doing it, from Hillary Clinton to Nigeria’s Emmanuella to, UBA, to Kelvin Hart and even an entire stadium in a football match. It’s creative and engaging. I love it.  It’s a powerfully deep an experience, especially with the Black Beetle song featuring Gucci Mane playing in the background. The roots have been traced back to Twitter user @thvtmelanin_, a high school student named Emili from Jacksonville, Florida. “One day I just went to the front of the class and stood there,” Emili told Inverse magazine via Twitter DM. “That’s when my friend A’laynah said, ‘Hey, you look like a mannequin.’ Then my friend Bre’Onna and Jasmine joined and we started doing all these crazy poses.”

My question first of all is, so who are Emili and A’laynah and why do they matter?

Why am writing about this, why am I singling them out and what’s their importance?

 In marketing or any campaign,  know these guys. These days, it’s not board room strategy and marketing budgets, but underrated influencers and people like these that start and end trends, destroying and recreating products that disrupts industry and our world. Its people like these that actually made Trump win an election, like yawning, they possess an unknown spirit and gift to create what is highly contagious and other people just copy. Don’t ignore them, like the guy that that burnt himself and started the Arab spring. Strangely we have them unnoticed (even to themselves) in all industries. We call people like Emili, Bre’Onna, Jasmine and A’layanah connectors, they teamed up with Mavens (other cool college kids) and Sneezers (social media). Every industry has them. Let me break down a key concept through this.

“This Mannequin challenge, a silly class prank then evolved into a full-blown social media challenge reaching billions in days thanks to a little encouragement from a friend”, Emili said.

How did it then go viral?

I said to my team at Hexavia last week, “As marketing and management consultants, I need us to research and find the DNA of viral concepts. Like cell study in biotechnology, if you apply nanotechnology into zooming of a cell, you can alter and recreate life. That’s where 3D printing and cloning of human parts and biogenetics is coming from. Same way, anyone who masters DNAs of how these trends go viral can duplicate it and I am sure there are millions we can make from it.

Still unknown to a lot of people, big budget for campaigns, and ads are failing and contagiousness is replacing mainstream marketing, how well do you know them?

Who’s noticed that Google ads are now everywhere, they now advertise offline on radio and billboard. With too much ads everywhere plus social media, as the world gets to the breaking point of information overload, the future of business moves away from marketing and goes back to the value of word of mouth and the power of friend of a friend’s friend. This will depend no more on corporate communication but on the value and stickiness of the message, the context of the message and the quality of the channels that carries it (which must satisfy The Law of The Few. This states that for a message to go viral, it must be sticky and initiated by a small select group of people categorized into mavens (experts), sneezers (broadcasters/platforms with large but targeted followers of like minds), connectors (socialites and networkers) or all put together. We can see  this fulfilled with the Mannequin challenge  But to master and duplicate such concept, there are steps to it. Please see

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