(Forewarning: this blog post is a bit dated due to technical difficulties on my WordPress. Originally 2/29/16)
Let’s get one thing straight.
Yes, Daniel is a sharply dressed young man. Yes, Daniel sports some exceptionally snazzy white shoes. And yes, Daniel just sat for an interview with THE Ellen on her talk show. But… I don’t really see what the craze is all about. A couple of weeks ago, a video on Twitter surfaced of a nice teenage boy named Daniel Lara, appearing to be in high school, being followed around by his friend recording his outfits, admiring him in a bit of a trolling fashion stating “DAMN DANIEL!!”. Granted, we understand they are all friends and it was simply all in good fun. But on that Friday afternoon, this video spread across the internet like wildfire. Before the original video was deleted, the video amassed up to over 320,000 retweets. I saw the video, as I was heading up to class. I chuckled for a little bit, thinking it was just another internet jokester. But as the day went on, and I checked my social media accounts, all I would see is this sly walking teenager:
Moving on from Twitter to Facebook to Snapchat, all I saw were references to this video. People crying of laughter, people imitating his friend recording, and even catching people who by chance happened to wearing those exact white Vans. But I didn’t understand the magnitude of the video at all. I would definitely classify myself as an avid social media user and I was not following for the life of me. The most surprising part of it all was seeing the various businesses making use of the #DamnDaniel hashtag.
Clorox having a bit of fun with the latest craze.
Menswear Blog Four Pins throws in their two cents into the fun.
And alas, it was only a matter of time before Vans even chimed in.
I will admit this was a smart marketing strategy. Using the hashtag to utilize Web 2.0 was a great way for companies to appeal to their younger, more tech-savvy targets who have a larger presence on social media. The many number of companies who put the #DamnDaniel hashtag to use were innovative. This was a perfect time for them to advertise their products. In a previous class, we spoke on the reference to Red Lobster Beyonce had in one of her lines during her performance. Twitter erupted, with their opinions on how she “slayed”, took a shot at law enforcement, or the Red Lobster line. But Red Lobster failed to take this opportunity and run with it. Twitter was a huge platform in that moment because during live events, for some reason there happen to be a lot more people using Twitter than usual. By the time they addressed the situation, it was virtually too late and nobody really cared all that much about it anymore.
But when I saw this… I was in complete awe. I had no words.
Simply for walking around his school in Vans, this young man was asked for a sit down interview on day time television with one of THE coolest women on EARTH. Ellen DeGeneres herself invited Daniel and his friend for a sitdown to speak on how their video set the internet upside down. After a nice lengthy interview, she was kind enough to reward Daniel for his walking with a casual LIFETIME SUPPLY OF WHITE VANS. DOES ANYBODY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON?
This little instance goes to display the power of the internet. One small thing can go viral over night and the next thing you wake up with your face all over the internet. Today, you do not particularly need a solid set of skills to get ahead. A iPhone (because owning an Android is a cardinal sin) and a solid social media base is all you need and you could get much farther then you think. But I’m sure we will find the next big thing to over glorify and hype up soon enough.