Flash Mobbing is the seemingly random convergence of people in a public place to perform and disperse.
Bill Wasik Of Harper’s Magazine is credited with the first Flash Mob in NY 2003. Over 100 people converged on the ninth floor rug department of a store, gathering around an expensive rug. Anyone approached by a sales assistant was advised to say that they lived together in a warehouse and that they were shopping for a “love rug”.
The London Railway stations are targeted by “Silent Discos” featuring iPod wearing dancers to the annoyance of local constabulary
But the greatest impact (at least via social media) are those in which there is a choreographed dance. These are also attracting the attention of Brands who recognise the value that the publicity can bring.
A good example is VTM TV’s promo for a show in Antwerp. It ticks all of the boxes for this type of stunt. The YouTube site has over 7 Million views to date:
Unfortunately, fame of an idea often breeds imitators and an example this week in Sydney from Powershift shows that even with the best of intentions (Powershift is a youth climate summit), if this isn’t executed well it falls flat. It missed the spontaneity factor in favour of scale and branding (hats & T-Shirts).
It missed the point of the medium and the majority of the media missed the message: