You’re walking down the street enjoying some fresh air when all of a sudden a man breaks out singing and dancing. No, it’s not a crazy homeless man this time. The next thing you know, you’re surrounded by individuals joining in on the singing and dancing routined.
You’ve just been flash mobbed.
Flashmob marketing is popular because it’s a live act and generates a crowd. Unlike traditional marketing methods such as billboards and print ads, flash mobs have a tendency to go viral if done right. The group best known for their outrageous flash mob examples would be a group called Improv Everywhere.
Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents.
Flashmobs have been increasing in popularity for many guerrilla marketers. The real question is, have they become overdone? Well AT&T sure things so. They recently ran a TV commercial that made fun of flashmobs.
This network spot shows the benefit of having 4G speed, and the result of being left behind on a slower carrier. We see a man eagerly eyeing the clock in a train station. As it strikes 12:00, he throws down his trench coat and bursts into an elaborate dance. While he goes through his routine, we pan out and see others standing around the platform in similar trench coats, watching him with looks of frustration and disbelief. He slowly stops as he realizes he is dancing alone, he pulls out his phone and sees that the message he has been downloading for a few minutes has finally finished. The attachment reveals the news — “Flash Mob moved to 12:30.”