Here we are with yet another social phenomenon, being quickly grabbed as a challenge from sports teams big and small, and with it many of their engaged followers. The question is, can it become a philanthropic driver of good, or is it just a goofy viral experiment that will go the way of dabbing and swallowing cinnamon.
We are talking about the #MannequinChallenge. For those not yet aware, it requires groups of participants to assume a dramatic pose (could be anything) while hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd’s new song “Black Beatles” blares in the background. The first known appearance of the #MannequinChallenge surfaced on Twitter in late October, and it’s believed to have been created by high school students at the Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville, Florida.
As of Monday morning ET, an Instagram search for the hashtag #MannequinChallenge turned up more than 56,000 results with teams like the New York Giants, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Milwaukee Bucks creating their own versions this past weekend. Even companies like Jimmy Johns, and strippers find a way (through not associated with NFL players of course) to get in on the freeze framing.
While it can gain viral scale, is there a bugger opportunity to do social good? Can teams, athletes, companies, leagues, even brands challenge each other in scale and creativity to raise dollars for one, or any number of causes? The beauty of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” was its simplicity. You needed some water and a pail and a willing participant. This takes choreography, creativity and probably more than one person to make it impactful. However there is power in numbers. For every player or celebrity or influencer participating on one Mannequin Challenge, the ability to fundraise grows exponentially.
So far it appears to be gaining steam; is it a movement than can escalate and can a philanthropic opportunity be seized upon before the non-motion stops? That remains to be seen, but it is obvious a viral opportunity is in the offing for those willing to jump on, or stop jumping. Whatever the case may be.