Georgia Grandmother and Her Bestie Do the Whip and Nae Nae

By Steve Moran

I think my favorite emails or phone calls start with some version of this sentence:

“I have this cool story I think you might be interested in . . . “

I will acknowledge that what is “cool” is clearly in the eyes of the beholder and sometimes I get an email that starts that way, yet ends up not so cool. Sometimes it is a matter of perspective and sometimes it is just someone looking for additional press. I ultimately turn down more stories than I write and publish; however, I also write and publish a lot of amazing stories that would not happen except for readers reaching out to me.

A few weeks ago, I received one of those emails via LinkedIn from Amy McKinley, COO of Somerby Senior Living, a growing 5-community senior living company based in Birmingham, AL.  

They had just issued a media alert on a homemade video shot in their Peachtree City, GA community that was in breakout mode to go viral. The title was pure clickbait . . . 

Georgia Grandmother and Her Bestie Do the Whip and Nae Nae

The Crazy Numbers

This video was posted on April 4, 2016, by the lifestyle enrichment director, mostly for the benefit of the resident’s families. I am writing this article on April 21, 2016 so 16 days later and here are the stats:



  • 87,000 comments  (Eighty seven THOUSAND people took the time to comment!? This is the crazy cool part of the story!)

The Story

Somerby was in the begining stages of launching a video promotion campaign and had been doing some test video shots with residents (interviews), just to see who would be effective communicators. After these two ladies were interviewed, they said they wanted to dance for the camera. The activities director got out her smartphone, put the music on and shot some video.

She posted the video on the community website, simply presuming they would get like 13 views. However, the next morning — only the second day after posting — they woke up to find that the video had close to 200 hundred thousand views. By the end of the day, it was over 500 thousand views! They quickly worked with their marketing company to put out an alert and the thing went crazy — with postings on local radio, Cosmopolitan Online, USA Today, and Kathie Lee & Hoda. The residents in the video have been invited to do celebrity appearances at local restaurants.   

What It Means

Will this get them more residents? Maybe! But this is huge for their company, huge for their community, huge for the industry and huge for the fight against ageism. Just a few of the comments:

  • Could this be you and I someday? Lol

  • They are having a ball it looks like, that is great…

  • They just made my day.

  • Good for them, I hope when I am their age I can and will do the same. My new heroes.

  • Go granny!!! Watched you whip haha.

  • I want to be this cool when I grow up.

  • Hey Kath, this will be us in 30 years.

This kind of thing is huge for the battle to see growing older and senior living as a good part of the natural process of aging. It is a video about hope and fun.

You too can watch it here: