• France edition
 
Neknominate: Frenchman starts 'smarter' challenge
A Frenchman has launched a new social media challenge to try to bring an end to Neknomination. Photo: Screngrab YouTube

Neknominate: Frenchman starts 'smarter' challenge

Published: 18 Feb 2014 13:43 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2014 13:43 GMT+01:00

After 23-year-old Julien Voinson was given 24 hours to film himself downing an alcoholic beverage as part of the Neknomination drinking craze that has swept social media, the young Frenchman decided against following the trend. 

Voinson, from the city of Bordeaux in south western France, came up with a much healthier and certainly more responsible challenge that has thrown him into the media spotlight and helped boost a new craze.

Instead of downing a bottle of gin or vodka in one go, Voinson decided to film himself carrying out a "smarter" challenge which for him was to hand out food and drink to homeless people in his city.

Then as with the rules of Neknominate he challenged three of his friends to film themselves doing something “intelligent and useful” and in doing so created  "Smart-nomination".

His video clip (SEE BELOW) has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube and he has been inundated with messages of support from around the world.

“It’s absolutely crazy,” Voinson wrote on his Facebook page this week.

“Over 300 hundred thousand views on YouTube. Messages sent from Britain, Belgium, Spain, Martinique and the four corners of France, my inbox has been flooded with by and large positive messages.”

At the latest count that had risen to over 750,000 hits.

Explaining his motivation for breaking the boozy craze that continues to sweep the world, Voinson told BFM TV: “My little brother is on Facebook, it’s out of the question that he could see his little brother drink alcohol. You need to be original and make a useful video.”

As part of meeting the challenge of “Smart nomination” participants have filmed themselves giving blood or dropping clothes or a cheque in to a charity.

Scores of people have taken part in the challenge since Voinson made his first video.

Voinson hopes his smart idea will take off and help bring an end to the original boozy version of the game which is so far believed to have claimed five lives worldwide.

“Neknomination is not a good example for the younger generation,” he said. 

However Voinson can't lay claim it seems to being the first to turn Neknomination into something more positive. That title is believed to belong to a South African named Brent Lindeque, who filmed himself handing food out to homeless people in his home country at the end of January. 

You can watch his video below.

The phenomenon Nek Nominate, like the planking craze before it, appears to have originated in Australia. Authorities in Britain this week warned that drinkers daring their friends to take the challenge could face charges if things go horribly wrong.

Don't miss stories about France, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Photo of French pupils draws 'racist' backlash
An Education Ministry photo has prompted an online controversy in France, because only one kid is white. Photo: Sophie Brändström/Education Ministry

Photo of French pupils draws 'racist' backlash

The French government has firmly rebuked scores of 'racist' comments left on an education ministry Facebook post which shows a back-to-school scene with mostly non-white children. The image has elicited a furious online debate. READ  

French bureaucrats go after baker for 22 cents
Bureaucrats at the RSI have threatened legal action against a retired baker for a debt of 22 centimes. Photo: AFP

French bureaucrats go after baker for 22 cents

A retired pastry maker from the south of France was given a nasty shock this week when French authorities threatened to take legal action against him over unpaid debt. He stands accused of owing 22 centimes to the state. A stamp in France costs 59 cents. READ  

Ask The Experts - French savings
Saving money in France: What's the best option?
What's the best thing to do with your savings in France? Photo: Shutterstock

Saving money in France: What's the best option?

Ever wondered what's the best thing to do with your savings in France? As part of our "Ask The Experts" series we've invited expat financial adviser Jonathan Cooper to tell you what to do with your hard-earned euros. READ  

Paris building blast: Seventh body found
Firefighters pull a body from the rubble after an explosion brought down an apartment block near Paris on Sunday. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

Paris building blast: Seventh body found

French rescue workers pulled a seventh body out of the rubble of a four-storey building near Paris on Monday. The apartment block collapsed on Sunday after an explosion. One person is still believed to be missing. READ  

France's 'Tony Blair' divides Socialist Party
Does the French PM Manuel Valls remind you of anyone? A younger Tony Blair perhaps? Photo: Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP

France's 'Tony Blair' divides Socialist Party

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged Socialist Party rebels to unite behind the government this weekend, as opposition among dissenters on the left against the leader they are increasingly referring to as a French "Tony Blair", continues to grow. READ  

Ligue 1 round-up
PSG in five-goal rout as Bordeaux slip up
Zlatan celebrates after scoring one of three goals against St Etienne on Sunday night. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

PSG in five-goal rout as Bordeaux slip up

French champions PSG made a statement of intent on Sunday beating Saint Etienne 5-0 at the Parc des Princes, while leaders Bordeaux slipped up at home to Bastia and Lyon lost again. READ  

Escaped British killer surrenders in France
French police had launched a manhunt for an escaped British killer. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Escaped British killer surrenders in France

After some four days on the run, an escaped mentally ill British man has returned to the French psychiatric hospital where he was forcibly committed for beating a man to death with a four-kilo weight. READ  

IMF board expresses confidence in Lagarde
Christine Lagarde, who revealed she had been charged on Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation. Photo: AFP

IMF board expresses confidence in Lagarde

The board of the International Monetary Fund has reiterated its support for Managing Director Christine Lagarde, after a French court placed her under formal investigation in a graft scandal. READ  

Guest blog - French in-laws
How to keep your French in-laws on your side
Meeting your French in-laws doesn't have to be scary. Photo: AFP

How to keep your French in-laws on your side

Even back home meeting the in-laws for the first time is scary, but as a foreigner in France it's doubly stressful. So here's ten tips from French blogger Geraldine Lepère to help you survive and even thrive with your new family. READ  

How France compares to Europe:  Unemployment
How does France compare to its neighbours when it comes to unemployment.Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

How France compares to Europe: Unemployment

The jobless total in France hit a new record high this month with 3.424 million people out of work. Is it only in France that records are being broken? The Local takes a look at why the numbers are more positive in at least some of France's neighbours. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for keeping your French in-laws happy
National
Unemployment: How does France compare to Europe?
International
Are all the talented professionals really leaving France?
National
La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?
Travel
Check out the four new attractions coming to Paris this autumn
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
International
VIDEO: Watch the top five street scams to avoid in Paris
Politics
Take a look at the bulging to-do list that awaits France's new government
Politics
Six questions for France after Hollande ousts rebels
International
Choosing schools in France: Do you go international or French?
Gallery
From kissing to bad-mouthing: Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Culture
Ten things you need to know about the Liberation of Paris:
Travel
Watch this impressive time lapse video and you'll want to move to Paris
National
Veiled Muslim woman on a French beach prompts politician's angry rant
Travel
Forget Paris and Provence where are the least touristy areas of France?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The battle to liberate Paris from the Nazis
National
What France means to you in just one tweet
National
15 French 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
12 reasons to invest in Paris and seven not to
National
French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change
National
French tourist caught in Pompeii brothel romp
International
'Forget the Anglo-media's image of France, the reality is much different'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se