The element of surprise can be a highly effective marketing tool to create brand awareness. Take for example, the flash mob. According to urbandictionary.com a flash mob is;
“A group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perform predetermined actions, designed to amuse and confuse surrounding people.”
Since its emergence in New York in 2003, the flash mob has been used as a successful visual marketing tool for many companies. Here are two companies whose flash mob video productions have become among the most viewed on YouTube.
The title for the most viewed flash mob video on YouTube goes to an Ontario-based company called Alphabet Photography. This company shows that you don’t need a large budget for your flash mob production; just talented performers, clever planning and lots of surprised onlookers. Their flash mob video, “Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus – Must See!” went viral soon after it was posted on YouTube and has received over 38 million views. After its release, the video was featured across world media and the company has since received royal approval from Prince Charles himself! The end board of the video lists information about Alphabet Photography’s website and a seasonal greeting, which serve to heighten awareness of the company.
Mobile Phone Company T-Mobile has two flash mob videos appearing in the “Top Ten Flash Mob Videos on YouTube.” Their UK-based “Life’s for Sharing” campaign features flash mobs taking place in the busiest transport hubs in the UK. Collectively, their big budget, all-singing all-dancing flash mobs have received over 46 million YouTube views. T-Mobile also creates individual campaigns around each video with a behind the scenes look at the flash mob organization, and reaction from the public after the flash mob has taken place. Before you check out the flash mob videos below be warned that “The T-Mobile Welcome Back” is quite a tearjerker!
So what lessons can we take from the examples shown above?
- A well organized and entertaining flash mob video has potential to go viral, regardless of the size of your budget.
- Theme your video so that it has lasting appeal and makes a connection with your business. A significant portion of Alphabet Photography’s business is in the gift market. The company’s flash mob video likely receives an increase in views and shares around Christmas which may increase web traffic and potential revenue.
- Flash mob videos such as “The T-Mobile Welcome Back,” that include unsuspecting onlookers being caught up in the action, rate highest on YouTube.
- Film everything! Footage of the organization of the flash mob and snippets from behind the scenes can be used as part of an extended campaign before and after the release of the flash mob video.
So, have any of these stories inspired you to consider using a flash mob video as part of your next online marketing campaign?