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Kevin Henry is the group editorial director for Advanstar Dental Media and has more than 15 years of experience in the dental publications field. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Also, you can follow him on Twitter (@kgh23).
I’ll admit, I watched every bit of the most recent Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, including the halftime show featuring Katy Perry. Personally, I thought the halftime show was awesome … but it wasn’t long after its conclusion that I saw that an Internet and social media sensation had been born - Left Shark.
If you haven’t seen or heard about Left Shark, click here to learn about this creature who is suddenly the hottest marketing trend out there. Go ahead. Take your time. I’ll still be there. I’ll just take a few minutes and print out some Left Shark Valentines.
While Katy Perry was giving the most-watched performance of her lifetime, people were suddenly drawn into the world of Left Shark, a backup dancer in a shark suit (similar to the shark on the right side of Perry, brilliantly soon dubbed Right Shark) who didn’t exactly follow every move that Right Shark was throwing down. Left Shark was doing his own thing … and the world was loving it.
Never has a shark been more famous since the one Fonzie jumped that signaled the end of Happy Days. Sure, Jaws scared us all and none of us wanted to see a Sharknado hit our hometown, but Left Shark had something that spoke to all of us. Memes popped up. Celebrities began claiming they were Left Shark. Yes, Left Shark was suddenly the talk of the Super Bowl. Why? I think this passage from The Atlantic summed it up nicely…
“We are all, on some level, the left shark: getting some things right, screwing some things up, trying to have fun in the process. We're all constrained. We're all flawed. We're all famous. And we're all participating, together, in an awkward dance that will, eventually, make its way to the Internet.”
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That’s right, we all have a little bit of Left Shark in us … and that’s OK. You’re not always going to do everything perfectly in the dental practice … or in life. You’re not always going to be in exact rhythm with your co-workers or even the dentist, but that doesn’t mean you stop what you’re doing. It doesn’t mean you completely conform. It doesn’t mean you give up. It means that you do the best you can do, despite your flaws and imperfections (we all have those). You participate. You give it your best. You don’t stop because you’re not the best at something or you get out of step. You keep moving ahead.
Eventually, a backup dancer on Perry’s regular tour admitted to the world he was Left Shark. He also said that both Left Shark and Right Shark had been told to have fun during Perry’s Super Bowl performance. Mission accomplished by both, but who looked like he was having more fun? Enter the sensation known as Left Shark.
Yes, Left Shark became an instant meme generator because he didn’t exactly fit the mold and he was having fun. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d have a good time hanging out with Left Shark. Let it be known right now that Left Shark has a standing invitation to my Super Bowl party next year.
This week, find your own Left Shark. Blaze your own trails. Do your own thing. Have some fun. Soon, you’ll have people wondering what makes you different and stand out from the crowd. Left Shark would be proud.
What Would Left Shark Read?