We have seen what disruptive advertising and shockvertising are. Both unique methods to capture the attention of the audience, in an environment filled with ads. While a tool like shockvertising might ring the bell only in the minds of few, among the target audience, disruptive outdoor advertising might even hurt a few.
So rises the question, is there a way to surprise many people, without shocking them, or causing individual unpleasantness, and make them talk about it too? The answer lies in flash mobs.
What is a Flash Mob?According to Wikipedia
Flash mob is a group of people who suddenly assemble in a public place like a mall, perform unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, and then disperse. This is often done for the purpose of entertainment, and expression of art.
The term flash mob, at inception was generally not used to refer to performances organized for the purposes of politics, advertising, publicity stunts that involve PR firms or paid professionals. In such circumstances the term smart mob is used. However, the term flash mob is used by news, media, and promoters to refer to smart mobs as well.
How does a flash mob work?
A flash mob is controlled by dispatchers, who control the mobbing system (own the contact list and the means to forward an instant message to a group and are induced to cause disruption and perform to a individuals who have been targeted. Generally assembly and other performance related discussion is kept off the internet, in an attempt to make the whole thing covert. Here is an example of how a flash mob works.
How can a marketer use a flash mob?
As a marketer you can use flash mobs to create buzz. Flash mobs work well especially in a closed environment like a mall or a movie hall. Marketers can sponsor such performances. Here is an example of how T-Mobile has used a sponsored flash mob to create buzz.
Apart from creating buzz in the location, a video of the same performance can be used on the internet to go viral and reach a gazillion viewers(Remember the Kolaveri viral?). This is the period when Retail is being welcomed with rapidly growing footfalls, and crowded malls. A marketer should capitalize on the available audience, which is waiting to be impressed.