First it was the Harlem Shake craze that swept through social media and got regular people to dance frenetically to a segment of a hip-hop song by Baauer. Now, the Mannequin Challenge is the viral craze of the day and people from around the world are uploading short videos of themselves frozen in action.
Israelis love a good challenge and there are new videos being uploaded daily of people posing statue-style in a variety of activities while the camera moves around them.
The Mannequin Challenge is believed to have been started on October 12 by a group of students in Florida. The premise is simply to create a video in which people hold a still pose in an active scene. The song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd usually serves as the soundtrack.
It has become so catchy that professional athletes, sports teams and celebrities – as well as US First Lady Michelle Obama – have all done the Mannequin Challenge. The Instagram site dedicated to #MannequinChallenge has nearly one million videos.
And as more people take part, the scene of where you freeze has become more important.
So, when the Israel Defense Forces offered up a surprising rendition of its own Mannequin Challenge featuring Navy combat soldiers striking a pose out at sea, the “cool factor” climbed a notch.
The country’s most populated Mannequin Challenge video belongs to the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Check out the antics of some 150 computer-science students and faculty in this frozen portrait of the Haifa academic institution.
Some other cool Israeli Mannequin Challenge videos include a Tel Aviv Pilates studio showing its practitioners holding still in exercise stretches; a Facebook tech team showing a day in the startup nation; a family frozen at the sight of a cockroach in their home; a glimpse at a kiosk screening a sports match; a look behind-the-scenes of a youth news television program and a group of school kids striking a pose during a trip outdoors.
Advertising agencies are also taking advantage of the popular trend. The Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv released a frozen-in-time shopping mall scene; while the Castro fashion chain made a commercial around the craze, with the punchline, “Before you freeze, choose a Castro jacket.”
A local coffee-shop chain got in on the “inaction” and posted a brilliant still life café scene.
As the viral craze sweeps the Iternet, it’s difficult to keep tabs on all the Mannequin Challenges out there. Reports cite the trend has over 80 million references on the World Wide Web. And counting.