Sport Other Sports Internet craze: Taylor Swift’s ‘mannequin challenge’
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Internet craze: Taylor Swift’s ‘mannequin challenge’

Taylor Swift made good on her promise. Photo: Getty.
Big freeze: Swift and friends pull stunt on Rhode Island. Photo: Getty
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Taylor Swift has celebrated Thanksgiving by enlisting her squad in a “mannequin challenge” video.

The video posted on the singer’s Instagram account on Thursday shows Swift and friends frozen in various poses on a Rhode Island beach before breaking out in a dance party.

Swift also posted pictures of herself with model friends Lily Donaldson and Martha Hunt. Also joining Swift for the holiday were Broadway star Todrick Hall and her brother, Austin.

Swift is the latest celebrity to take on the “mannequin challenge”, which has become a social media craze over the past several weeks.

High school students from the United States are believed to have started the viral internet challenge that is taking the world by storm.

It has quickly surged in popularity, with sporting royalty such as LeBron James and our own Tim Cahill having a go.

So what is it? The premise is very simple.

You get a bunch of people to stand completely still (like mannequins) and then have someone walk around filming all the poses.

It is sometimes, but not always, ended or accompanied by the song Black Beatles by hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane.

Challengers then post the video to social media with the hashtag #MannequinChallenge.

Unlike the “ice bucket challenge”, this isn’t for any particular charitable cause.

It seems to be just for fun and for challenging other people.

It is thought to have started in late October with a group of high school students from Jacksonville, Florida.

And it quickly spread to some of sport’s biggest names.

NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers, captained by LeBron James, took the challenge in the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry wasn’t about to be outdone, though.

He had a whole restaurant freeze for his version of the challenge.

It has had an impact in Australia too, with soccer star Cahill leading his Melbourne City side through a “mannequin challenge” of its own.

Melbourne City Mannequin Challenge

Did you see our #MannequinChallenge this week? Many have called it the best they have seen on the net!

Posted by Melbourne City FC on 2016年11月13日

As the challenge has become more and more popular, it has even started creeping onto the sporting field.

England striker Jamie Vardy, as seen below, celebrated a goal by doing the challenge with his teammates, while the 11,658-strong crowd at a Perth Wildcats NBL team also took part.

#RedArmy Mannequin Challenge

11,658 people did the Mannequin Challenge at Perth Arena yesterday! #RedArmy, you're awesome.

Posted by Perth Wildcats on 2016年11月13日

Mannequin Challenge goes political

The challenge is becoming popular out of the sporting arena as well.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did the “mannequin challenge” the night before her ill-fated election day.

She was joined by her staff and rocker Jon Bon Jovi for the challenge on her jet.

What makes a viral video?

When the “running man challenge” went viral in May, a social media expert explained to The New Daily how these online phenomenons occurred.

mannequin challenge
When big stars like LeBron James are involved online virality is easier, an expert said. Photo: Getty

RMIT University social media guru Associate Professor Dr Con Stavros said viral videos – like the “mannequin” and “running man challenges” – were usually “fun, straightforward and quirky”.

“I think when things like this show a different side of athletes and people, it creates a lot of interest,” he said.

“Sport is such a great vehicle on social media because of how much interest players and athletes generate.

“The challenge element also helps. It adds a connection to the next person and the challenge is done in a very public manner.”

Dr Stavros also said at the time that finding the “magic formula” of what makes something go viral was the holy grail for many professionals.

“[It] is a question that marketers are always trying to understand and there’s no magic formula,” he added.

“I think in many things that do get popular, though, there’s an element of fun to them.”

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