Using A Creative Flashmob As A Viral Element
The best way to get free publicity and free attention is by doing something remarkable and highly entertaining. Last Monday, the 23rd of March, a Belgium TV channel created a flashmob at an crowded trainstation to promote a new TV serie. Over 200 dansers created a scene which was recorded by several camera’s.
Op zoek naar Maria – March 23rd, 2009 [link]
Creative? Not that much. There has been several cases that involve some kind of same action over the past years. Lets have a look at those cases an analyze the impact.
Lets first take a look at a closer definition of the term flashmob:
A flashmob is a group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perfom predetermined actions, designed to amuse and confuse surrounding people. The group performs these actions for a short amount of time before quickly dispersing. Flash mobs are often organised through email and/or newsgroup postings.
As far as I know, flashmobs are created by a group of enthusiastic individuals who just like the media attention and wanted to have some fun. Later on, marketeers noticed the viral effect of these kind of actions. The first flashmob, created by a brand, is “Airport Musical” from lastminute.com to promote theatre tickets:
Airport Musical – May 19th, 2008 [link]
They kept it pretty well on topic, promoting a musical by performing a musical. The video must have caught the attention of the agency that was in charge of the promotion of the new logo from Getronics, a Dutch based ICT company. They did pretty much the same thing to get attention and awareness for their new design. A musical was performed by a group of theatre actors at the most central – and most crowded – trainstation in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Getronics Musical – Ocotber 14th, 2008 [link]
In order to get some attention for the Life’s for Sharing campaign from T-Mobile, they decided to do a similar thing at the trainstation in Liverpool in the UK.
The T-Mobile Dance – January 15th, 2009 [link]
The cases above have one thing in common: They’re all based on the flashmob principle and are aiming for as much as free publicity as possible. For as far as I know, there could have been a lot more then the examples above. The ones that didn’t make it into the blogosphere and failed to obtain enough publicity.
Do these kind of assets still create enough awereness? Will the lack of creativity kill the viral effect? I’m not quiet sure. Local sources will keep writing about it, but globally it won’t get the publicity it used to get. Its just not new anymore. It remains entertaining, although it reduced on the entertainment scale alot – if you’ve seen the same concept several times its not that fun any more. Which also makes it less remarkable. Will this be the end for flashmobs, created by brands? What do you think?