While it’s far from the most important thing lost to the pandemic, the handshake, on hiatus for now, could soon be a goner forever.
In recognizing the potential goodbye to the way millions say hello, the creative techies at Fort Myers-based digital marketing firms Vectra Digital and Stickboy did what they do best: they made a video to honor the handshake.
Vectra Digital CEO Matt Bernhardt — a jovial leader known pre-pandemic for his office fist bumps, high-fives, even the occasional hug — worked with the team to come up with the in-memoriam video. “Truth is, had I known the handshake as we know it was someday going to change forever, I would have done more ‘What Up J’ shakes,” says Bernhardt in a statement. “I’m a big shaker. Handshakes help us connect with people.”
The video, just under three minutes and uploaded to Vectra Digital’s YouTube channel, is a compilation of handshakes done by actors, athletes and public officials that the Vectra team bestowed unique names. Think Michael Jordan’s running hand slaps with his fellow Chicago Bulls after being introduced before a game and Tom Cruise’s Maverick character high-fiving Anthony Edwards’ Goose in Top Gun. The background music for is It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday, by Boyz II Men. Emphasizing that the video is satire, the last frame states “this video was intended to make people laugh and smile in this challenging time and in no way is meant to diminish or trivialize the precious lives lost.”
“In this stressful, awful pandemic,” adds Bernhardt, “we wanted to do something light-hearted to add some smiles to someone’s day.”
Bernhardt, in moving on from the shake, has found a new go-to greeting: the air bump.
“I do a lot of air fist bumps,” he says. “They are a little comical. We may have lost our grip on the shake, but not our smiles.”