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Harlem Shake makes for cheesy ad

Editorial Cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Editorial Cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Only one month since its release and the Harlem Shake meme has gone viral; it wasn’t long before the University of La Verne joined the craze with producing its own version.

The Harlem Shake was originally a dance that started in Harlem in 1981 and has evolved into a meme of random flailing confused for dancing.

The Campus Activities Board promoted its La Verne Harlem Shake as a way for students to get together and make their own video. The video was a spontaneous partnership created by an art student and CAB.

CAB’s original intentions were not to associate it with the school as an advertisement. But what was supposed to be a simple YouTube skit has now become an official school video with the school logo being advertised at the end of the 30-second dance.

President Devorah Leiberman, who was a passerby during shooting of the video, decided to join the students in the video spontaneously.

We appreciate that President Leiberman enjoys interacting with students, but this video should have not been tagged as an official college video. While the meme is entertaining, the result it just came off as tacky.

We’re all a bit confused, is it a harmless YouTube video or a school advertisement? What is the official message supposed to be?

We think we see why the University was quick to jump on this viral video bandwagon. Other Harlem Shake videos have received more than 50 million views, so it only makes sense that La Verne would use this as an advertising opportunity.

However, while it may seem like a great tactic, the number of students being accepted is still exceeding the amount of space. Essentially the University cannot accommodate any more students, so why make silly YouTube videos into cheesy ads? Although it was all in good fun, this event should have been kept solely as a CAB event and not have it branded with the La Verne logo, it seems the University will slap its logo on just about anything these days, if it means views. The University should focus on continuing to improve the quality of the school not trendy advertising schemes.

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