If you haven’t noticed the staying power of flash mobs, many organized by brands looking to generate some viral buzz — well, lucky you. They're everywhere.
Earlier today we noted some up and coming Disney stars promoting themselves with an Apple Store mini-flash mob. T-Mobile in the UK has been particularly fond of them — but can Glee also be blamed for this?
The FOX hit series' recent extended episode featured a flash mob breaking out in the middle of the mall, dancing to the song Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce. As is typical with flash mobs, it starts with just a few characters, and builds up until the floor of the mall is covered in dancers and the whole thing ends up on YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.
Are flash mobs an effective form of event marketing to get people's attention and generate some viral buzz? Or are they simply a fun excuse to dance in public? Check out some recent examples and let us know what you think.
The flash mob below was organized in Australia by another country's marketing board — Tourism Ireland, on St. Patrick's Day. The mob pops up in Sydney's Central Station, beginning with a lone dancer and featuring members of the touring company of Riverdance:
Over in America, a flash mob recently assembled in New York's Times Square to promote the rebranding of Wachovia to Wells Fargo:
Elsewhere in Manhattan, inside NYC's Time Warner Center to be exact, a flash mob danced to lobby a realtor (Related) to reject leasing space to the city's planned Walmart.
The protest song riffs on Amy Winehouse's hit, Rehab, substituting the actual lyrics for “Related wants to build a Walmart, We say no, no, no!” The event was organized by NY Jobs with Justice, Urban Agenda New York Communities for Change Retail Action Project, and the Walmart-Free NYC Coalition:
Beyonce created the following video, which will be distributed in US middle schools starting May 3rd, in support of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! kids' healthy eating and exercise campaign:
If it's possible to flash mob for Glee, for Irish tourism, for the First Lady, for a rebranded bank, and to protest Walmart, then you know there are folks flash-mobbing for Jesus. Sure enough, on May 2nd, there's a global biblical flash mob planned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James bible.
And earlier this month, more than 2,000 members of the Second Baptist Church dancing and singing at Discovery Green, a giant park in the heart of Houston, Texas. Each dancer left a pair of shoes on the field, to be donated to local mission agencies:
Another group of readers with a zeal for a brooding savior — Harry Potter — recently got together for a flash mob at the College At Brockport, a State University of New York Campus:
Coming up on May 1st, celebrities including Tracy Pollan, Michael J. Fox and Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows are helping promote "dance for a cure" local flash mobs to raise money for Claire's Place Foundation, named for 13-year-old Claire Wineland, who's raising money to fight Cystic Fybrosis:
Want more? Check out the 10 most popular flash mobs of all time.