Friday, August 14, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Flash mobs

Happy Friday all. I hope you are having a great summer so far. I was vacationing in Manhattan last week and brought back lots and lots of visual inspiration.

Before we begin, a quick tip of the hat to google. If you've done any searches already today you may have noticed a funny icon on the google home page. In spite of the new alliance of Yahoo and Microsoft, it goes to show you the continued influence of Google and their ability to have millions celebrate the birthday of a man most of us, myself included, have never heard of; Hans Christian Orsted.
Hans

With technology converging the way it is, I picked up a copy of "And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture," by Harpers Magazine senior editor, Bill Wasik. In the book Bill talks about how in 2003, as an exercise he decided to try and create "flash mobs" just out of boredom. He decided in May 2003 to try to persuade large groups of people to suddenly and briefly assemble in public places -- such as the lobby of Manhattan's Grand Hyatt Hotel -- for no apparent reason. Amazingly, his experiment worked, thanks in no small part to the clever ways in which he seeded and targeted the anonymous e-mails announcing his various flash mobs to (mostly) young New Yorkers invested in the mechanics of "buzz" and New York "scenesterism." The flash mob quickly became a global media phenomenon -- and an enduring inspiration to marketers, who keep assembling faux flash mobs to attempt to cool-ify their products and services (e.g., see the viral-video sensation The T-Mobile Dance)
This commercial went around the web already.



If you type in "flash mob" into Youtube you'll see several dozen examples come up. Including this one.



Flash mobs are a unique way to tie in old fashion event buzz and new technology to create excitement around a product or service.
That's it for this week. Next week, more on branding in the new Millenium. Have a great weekend.

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