The memory is so vivid - my body trembling, shaking, the tears in my eyes and the sweat that broke out over my body. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm not talking about sex, but rather my first time experiencing and participating in what has since been dubbed as the ubiquitous and ever elusive "viral campaign." I was working in experiential youth marketing at a big agency working on a big account. One of my colleagues sent me an IM with the link and a note: "you have to see this! It's hysterical!" The link brought me to what was then iFilm, and the clip was as follows:
Yes, that did it for me; I fell hook, line and sinker for that 15-second clip, dubbed "Afroninja,". The first few hundred times I watched it I was overcome with guilty, pleasurable waves of uncontrollable laughter, and to this day when I look at the clip, it brings a big smile to my face and more often than not elicits at least a chuckle or two. In those first few innocent viewings, I couldn't wait to send the clip to everyone I knew, and did so with reckless abandon and gusto. I was so happy to be the guy in the know, the "influencer" sending all my friends a clip that I knew that would enjoy as much as I did. Fast forward years later, after The Dramatic Chipmunk and Chocolate Rain videos, and it turns out that Mark Hicks, the stuntman whose misfortune while filming a Nike commercial blazed a trail throughout the net, may end up having the last laugh. He is apparently making a full fledged movie called Afroninja: Destiny based in large part on that very clip. Check out the great interview with Mark on Wired.