Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Mob of Flash Mob Articles

Flash mobs as an impromptu performance "art event" are a phenomenon whose wave has come and gone, but as a marketing tool, they continue to attract attention, amaze and delight jaded shoppers.  Here are some recent internet articles that examine the use of flash mobs to promote brand or product awareness.

Original 2003 flash mob marketing event at Macy's
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
The Keyboard Gorilla

Link to Article:
Congregate-Flash-Disperse: Flash Mob Marketing

Since 2003, when Bill Wasik, Senior Editor at Harper’s Magazine, directed a supposedly random "mob" of more than 100 shoppers to gather and stare at one particular expensive rug on display at New York's Herald Square flagship Macy's department store, clever marketers have organized these unheralded mini-events to attract awareness and attention.

Excerpt: "When it comes to guerrilla marketing, Flash Mob Marketing may just be one of the most budget-friendly, high-impact tactics to alert your consumers to the existence of your business.

A business goes through five steps in their marketing strategy starting at the introduction and hopefully ending at the loyal client... Flash Mob marketing is used mostly for the first stage, the Awareness stage. Simply put, Awareness is introducing your brand to your market. The biggest challenge in this stage is standing out from all the other brands trying to steal your audience’s attention.

This challenge has led to some of the most creative, bizarre and ingenious marketing campaigns we have today. It has also resulted in the jaded consumer who, frankly, is sick and tired of being sold to. It’s a catch 22 relationship: Consumer is bombarded with marketing messages -they tune out – marketer finds new ways to create awareness – consumer is interested for a second – is overexposed – feels bombarded – marketer goes back to the drawing board to cook up new ways to create awareness…."

"Worst breath" claims victims in Tic Tac flash mob
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
The Kambio Group

Link to Article:
The Flash Mob Marketing Hybrid

Recent flash mob events from companies like Nike and Tic Tac have breathed new impetus and life into the flash mob concept.

Excerpt: "While the initial idea of a flash mob was clever, spontaneous, and whimsical it can’t help but be said that if you have seen one you have seen them all. The idea, in a marketing aspect, is quite genius though. I can’t help but ask myself what is next? Will there be a new mutant form of “mobbing” that will throw us all for a loop? The answer, quite frankly, is yes. Companies such as Nike, Tic Tac, and The Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others, have taken their marketing strategy to the next level. Each has taken a unique aspect of its predecessor and has evolutionized into the new hybrid."

Atlanta airport concourse becomes flash mob venue
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
International Business Times

Link to Article:
Southwest & Delta's New Marketing Strategy: Flash Mobs

Waiting airport passengers are just about the ideal captive audience for ANYTHING that will cheer them and relieve the boredom of an enforced wait at the terminal.  Airlines have taken advantage of this to build brand awareness and loyalty, and get a Youtube viral marketing boost in the bargain.

Excerpt: "The next time you go to the airport, wander the terminal and get on a plane, be forewarned that you are walking into flash mob territory. This week, Southwest and Delta Airlines became the latest carriers to join the marketing craze of posting flash mob videos on YouTube.

A flash mob, by definition, is 'a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to perform an unusual and seemly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire and artistic expression.' It's also increasingly one of the cheapest ways for a company to get brand recognition out to the masses by making a video that's sure to go viral.  What are the key ingredients? Amateur dancers, company uniforms, a dance song and a video camera. Corporate flash mobs are no spontaneous eruption, but a carefully planned marketing scheme."

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