The first time I heard of a flashmob was last summer, (way before the T-Mobile Dance), when I found myself right in the middle of a Facebook flashmob of hundreds of teenagers engaging in a water fight in Hyde Park. London England, complete with the sudden police presence as I reported a real gun being flashed around by a rampaging group of teenage louts. Yes it made the newspapers that evening! So, now familiar with the concept, it was no surprise when the creative souls at T- Mobile in the UK legitimized flashmob advertising and the power of social media to promote their cell phones. Actually, it must be one of the most creative approaches I have seen in a while and talks to the power of social media and the creative genius of the people who created it. Others may point to the Grand Central Station freeze by the Improv Everywhere group - definitely creative - but T-Mobile took this to another level.
T- Mobile Dance - Viral Video and extended ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM&feature=channel
Unlike other viral approaches, T-Mobile managed to work their flashmob viral video idea into a marketing approach that was talked about around the world for its ability to also integrate traditional media. Launched in January 2009, in a few short weeks this campaign enjoyed over 7.7 million clicks on YouTube and coverage in a multitude of media outlets. Not only did T-Mobile cleverly stage the event in the middle of rush hour in one of London’s busiest train stations, they also had the foresight to send out teasers inviting people to tune into the extended TV ad of the event. Brilliant. To date, the viral video enjoys over 12 million clicks on YouTube.
T- Mobile Dance Teaser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw215gE6r2k
To top it off, while watching the ad viewers could click on their remote controls to view the “making of” the ad (interactive TV in the UK). This was then immediately followed by the launch of their dedicated YouTube channel http://www.youtube.co.uk/lifesforsharing, two 60 second TV ads that aired for two weeks, the creation of a small dance troop to tour main UK cities, and the release of the music for the event on iTunes. My favourite marketing campaign of the year ... so far!
The Making of T-Mobile Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVFNM8f9WnI&feature=channel