There’s now little in marketing less inspired than a dance flash mob. Be it in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, Federation Square in Melbourne, Queen Street Mall in Brisbane, Sydney’s Martin Place or a grim suburban strip mall, marketing companies are rinsing gullible clients for dollars on the promise the video will go viral.
And some big names – the likes of BMW, Dell, Qantas, Milo, Domino’s and Wii – are among those turning brand gold to shit.
One look at the grim faces of those who happened to be nearby when the experiential marketing project broke out is all that is needed to understand why this is a marketing trend that is D.E.A.D.
I humbly offer you my top ten shittest Australian branded flash mobs of all time:
The customers couldn't make it
Brand: Game/ Wii
Where: Paramatta Game Store
When: December 2009
The lowdown: The YouTube upload description offers an insight into how they wished it had turned out: “Check out this flashmob… It was insane! The whole store just broke into dance… playing the Wii video game Just Dance.” Yeah, right.
Just the reaction they hoped for
Brand/ cause: Qantas new route
Where: Sydney Airport
When: June, 2011
The lowdown: Fair to say that the stunt to publicise the Sydney to Perth route didn’t captivate the crowd, even if the cupcakes that followed did.
Brand/ cause: Bondi Pizza opening
Where: Bondi Pizza
When: August, 2011
The lowdown: A roomful of people calculating how long before they can go back to their drinks
The crowd goes wild
Brand/ cause: Climate change awareness
Where: Sydney Opera House
When: July 2009
The lowdown: And who exactly were they making aware of climate change?
The audience couldn't make it
Brand/ cause: Australian Services Union/ Fair Pay
Where: Victorian State Parliament
When: May 2011
The lowdown: An excellent example of guerrilla marketing in a vacuum
Inexplicably, it didn't go viral
Brand/ cause: Dell Streak mobile phone
Where: Circular Quay, Sydney
When: September 2010
The lowdown: If the brand values encapsulate low interest and low production values then this certainly did the job
Pulling a crowd
Brand/ cause: Power Bar
Where: Martin Place, Sydney
When: July 2010
The lowdown: Don’t pick a rainy day to do a flashmob. Otherwise the dancers will outnumber the audience
At least she enjoyed it (every time)
Brand/ cause: BMW X3
Where: Sylvania BMW
When: March 2011
The lowdown: Another over-excited YouTube description: “VIP guests at Sylvania BMW’s X3 Launch were taken by surprise when a team of dancers burst into their cocktail party with a rendition from “Grease!” Anyone else suspicious that the video editor has had to replay footage of the same blonde woman laughing uproariously in four different places?
Lucikly, a TV camera was on hand
Brand/ cause: Milo
Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
When: November 2010
The lowdown: Choreographed Ashes flash mobs at their least spontaneous
The joy of spontaneity
Brand/ cause: Domino’s Pizza
Where: Westfield shopping centre, Brisbane
When: July 2011
The lowdown: In an unfortunate mix up with the word “unoriginal”, in the press release to announce the marketing stunt, Domino’s described it as “unique”.