The top 5 viral crazes of 2016 and how we covered them
For many people, 2016 is a year that would be best swept under the carpet. Given all the celebrity deaths, political upheavals, and tragic news events that have taken place, there are few who would talk glowingly about the year that’s been. The start of 2017 is anticipated with all the significance of a curse being lifted rather than just an excuse to get drunk.
In the world of viral video though, there have been plenty of amazing moments recorded and shared online. Our researchers have been kept busy with all the various crazes and challenges that have emerged this year. Many have been for a good cause, others just good old fashioned frivolity.
So whether it was the epic wins, heartwarming gestures, or moments of accidental brilliance, let us remember those times when the internet brought us all together in mutual merriment.
Starting out among bored college students in the US, the Mannequin challenge took the world by storm towards the end of 2016. For a week or so, almost everywhere you looked you saw office workers, gym goers, and tube passengers doing their best living statue impressions, cashing in on the viral craze. One of many memorable moments of the US presidential election was seeing Hillary Clinton and her campaign team standing shock still on their private jet, perhaps a dress rehearsal for the eventual election result.
We have already covered our top 5 mannequin challenge clips in an earlier blog, so to avoid a blogception effect, we have selected our favourite video from the lot. If anyone’s ever been on a London Underground, you’d know how averse its patrons are to all forms of human interaction. Which is why inspiring a carriage full of tube users to participate in an impeccably performed Mannequin Challenge is deserving of our utmost respect, and inclusion in our list.
If you woke up on the morning of July the 14th and found your journey into work confounded by pale faced youths walking around aimlessly gazing at their smartphones, you’d be forgiven for thinking Google Maps had been hacked. Your confusion would then have intensified while overhearing colleagues bragging about ‘how many’ – often medical sounding names – they had caught. Almost the entire adult population went through similar experiences when Pokemon GO was released in the UK.
Here at Newsflare HQ, our researchers worked furiously to ensure that there wasn’t a Pokemon GO win, fail, or any other notable incident, that passed us by. Adopting the same ‘gotta catch ‘em’ attitude promoted by the game, we brought in clip after clip of Pokemon related hijinks. But amid all the Pikachu-chasing crowds, hilarious disputes, and clever hacks, our most successful video of the lot took place in a park in the US. It is pretty cruel, but rather funny.
It is an unspoken rule among the internet community that every year needs its dance craze. 2010 had its Dougie, 2013 its Harlem Shake, and now we are blessed with the ‘dab’. For the uninitiated, ‘dabbing’ essentially involves looking towards your armpit while sticking one arm in the air. Like all major historical events, its origins are disputed. It is said to have emerged out of the Atlanta hip-hop scene, with several artists – Skippa da Flippa, Peewee Longway, and Rich The Kid included – all laying claim to having invented the dance sensation. Whoever it was, no one could have anticipated it entering into our collective consciousness in the way it has.
Along with highly regarded sports stars such as Paul Pogba and Lebron James, many of the great and good of the entertainment world have got in on the act. Ellen Degeneres, Tom Hanks, and Jamie Foxx have all had a go. The Newsflare 5 a-aside football team may or may not have been photographed performing a version after one of their games (5 points to whoever can locate this image). And, always to be relied upon for contributing towards viral memes such as this, our members have joined in. So here’s our favourite:
Water bottle flipping
You’d think that the harmless pastime of flipping a partially empty bottle of water into the air to make it land upright would be pretty free from controversy, but when schools around the world start banning it, you know it has gone out of proportion. Its origins lie with a chemistry student in the US performing the trick at a talent show. Since then, the internet has been pretty inundated with others attempting the feat.
With the dull thud of challengers trying to accomplish the stunt echoing throughout homes and schools, it can be difficult for run-of-mill water bottle flipping to gain any kind of ground in the viral video market. And with all the video platforms full of different variations on the theme, our researchers had a tough job of sorting out the best from the rest. This video was identified – mainly down to its complexity – as being in the former category. A bottle flip from a rooftop onto a trampoline. Impressive.
PTSD pushup challenge
If our previous inclusions have brought about a moral skepticism as to whether these crazes have done any good, or are just plain disruptive, then consider this final entry. The PTSD pushup challenge was a social media led initiative to increase the public’s awareness of post traumatic stress disorder, especially relating to servicemen and women. It started off in the US military, then spread around the world to include megastars such as David Beckham and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.
But if you wanted to see more high octane efforts, then Newsflare was your place to look. Among many excellent videos brought in by our researchers, perhaps the most incredible one involved a man from Canada performing the 22 pushup challenge while flying a plane. The cautionary note of ‘do not try this at home’ applies pretty strongly to this clip, although I’m unsure how many of you have your own jet parked in your backyard.
If you’re a budding videographer or simply have a talent that you want to share with the rest of the world, our website is full of assignments and directives for filming engaging and newsworthy material. So whatever you’re doing throughout 2017, remember to keep Newsflare in mind. We wish you a happy new year, and best of luck for the year ahead.