It was nice to have my post about flash mobs picked up by Web Monitor at the BBC and nice to be asked for my opinion on the use of flash mobs for marketing purposes – even if slightly frustrating to have no easy way to respond!
The question asked was “Web Monitor would be interested to find out Semple’s take on advertisers’ adoption of flash mobs – mainly T-Mobile’s organised flash mobs which dominated the viral video chart before Michael Jackson’s death.”
I guess marketers and advertisers have become adept at playing on human emotion in all sorts of ways over the years and getting me to associate – however unconsciously or unwillingly – the emotional impact of a flash mob with a particular brand is just more of the same. Hopefully the balance of trust is shifting and we are much less likely to accept being manipulated if that manipulation feels too overt or too direct – much as witty and entertaining TV ads feel more acceptable than out and out sales pitches. Its a fine line though!