Mannequin Challenge Marketing: How A Challenge Video Became The Best Ad Campaign

mannequin challenge marketing

In this article, we’ll be tackling mannequin challenge marketing, or how most of the Internet took part in an ad campaign for the song “Black Beatles” without being paid and without knowing it.

There’s a lot to be learned about the mannequin challenge and how it ties into advertising and marketing. Stick around to find out how the latest meme is also tied to perhaps the most effective marketing campaign in recent history.

What’s the mannequin challenge?

The mannequin challenge is a meme that started on Instagram, but quickly expanded to pretty much every video platform in short measure afterward. That being said, the challenge remains the most popular on the Instagram platform, by far, thanks to Instagram’s better support for mobile video creation and the fact that at this point, basically everyone has one and uploading a clip on Instagram is easier than ever.

The mannequin challenge gets its name from what people in the video are doing: one person walks around with their phone, recording a shot, while the people around them pretend to be frozen in place. How convincing they manage to be, how difficult their poses are, etc, are all parts of the “challenge” in mannequin challenge. It may sound like a basic concept, but it was one interesting enough to take off and enc0urage people all over the world to try their hand on it.

So that may leave you asking- what’s mannequin challenge marketing, and what can you learn from it as a creator?

What can I learn from it as a content creator?

What many people don’t realize is that the mannequin challenge is that its soundtrack, “Black Beatles”, earned its place through the ingenious moves of the marketers and artists behind the scene.

When the mannequin challenge launched, it didn’t originally have a soundtrack to call its own. Because of this, people often went with their own soundtrack choices, but in the earliest day the meme was still messing something that would make it take off in the way that it has now.

Around the same time, Pizzaslime, a company specializing in non-traditional marketing, contacted Rae Sremmurd, the writers of “Black Beatles”, in hopes of finding a way to boost their presence. The mannequin challenge was just starting to trend at this time, so the artists and marketers worked together quickly to capitalize on it by doing a mannequin challenge, live, at one of their concerts.

People responded amicably to this display, and the marketers took to spreading video of the event around the Internet ASAP, to ensure that people would look to imitate it in their own ways and associate the song with the challenge.

It worked.

What can I learn from it as a marketer?

If you’re reading up on mannequin challenge marketing because you’re looking to boost your clients in the age of the Internet, it’s important that you look to non-traditional forms of advertising and sharing to ensure success. Nobody could have predicted the smash hit that the mannequin challenge ended up becoming, or the fact that it turned Black Beatles into the No. 1 song in the country.

What’s important is that you look at the clients, the people, the talent that you’re working with, and you find what kind of content works best with them. In this case,  marketers decided that a short-form meme was perfect with the soundtrack of “Black Beatles” in the backdrop, but things may not necessarily work the same for you.

That’s the biggest lesson to take from mannequin challenge marketing. The structure of advertising and the Internet has changed in an unprecedented way since the dawn of both of these mediums, and creativity will be required to stay on the cutting edge.

If you can figure out what that is, you can enjoy massive successes. The mannequin challenge went viral, and thanks to its association with “Black Beatles”, so did Rae Sremmurd and the rest of their music. Behind the scenes, that association was a marketing effort: and that made all the difference.

Learning More

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