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Word of Mouth Marketing Toolbox: Flashmobs

Definition (from Wikipedia):

“A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse.”

What are the benefits?

– Flashmobs create lots of user-generated content

– Flashmobs stimulate online and in-person buzz

– If it’s creative enough, a video of the flashmob can go viral online, constantly increasing awareness

– They get attention like no other tactic. If you are near a flashmob, you will notice it, it’s that simple.

But be careful:

In can be tough to make the connection between performance and brand, so make sure to think things through. Tons of people will be exposed to this event and posting their pictures/videos online, but if they don’t know why it happened then your brand won’t get credit. How do you avoid this pitfall? Make sure your event has a strong brand presence or call to action (but be judicious, as an over-branded flashmob will come across as kitchy or contrived).

How to create a good flashmob:

– Use a high-traffic area, where there will be tourists with cameras. This will stimulate user-generated content.

– It’s not absolutely necessary, but if you can afford it, use high-quality performers – the performance shouldn’t be a gamble. If the flashmob looks bad it can make your company look really lame.

Alert traditional PR, but don’t tell them everything. Just let them know why they might want to have a cameraman in a certain area at a certain time.

Use the content afterwards. Send a video to traditional PR outlets. Send the video to bloggers. The possibilities are endless.

Here are some examples of flashmobs:

Flashmobs for fun:

Too bad Chiquita didn’t think of that!

Flashmobs for business:

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