Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

It all happens in a FLASH! How did this surprise marketing tactic become viral? [Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

April 3, 2020

Imagine you’re on your way to the office or mall, going by your own business as usual.

When suddenly, a small group of people starts dancing…

… and the crowd gets bigger and bigger until the whole place is now filled with people happily dancing to their favorite hits!

And then, it just stops, and everything goes back to normal.

All those who danced just started walking and minding their own business as if nothing happened.

You have just experienced a FLASH MOB!

A very popular guerrilla marketing tactic, a flash mob, is a group of people who collaborate to perform unannounced in a certain location.

The performance can be in the form of dance, song, or even a short skit, all of which are meant to surprise and catch the attention of all the people passing by.

Many brands and companies have used flash mobs to great effect. One of them is the telecom brand T-Mobile, one of the biggest mobile network providers in the world.

In 2009, the brand launched a flash mob campaign at the Liverpool Street Station in the United Kingdom. The mob started out with a single dancer, which then grew in number until the ground floor of the station was completely full of people dancing!

This guerrilla marketing tactic was organized by the London branch of Saatchi and Saatchi, one of the most distinguished ad agencies internationally.

According to T-Mobile’s Head of Brand and Communications, Lysa Hardy:

“‘Dance’ brings to life the fact that there are often unexpected, wonderful, exciting things that happen that you want to be able to share with your friends and family.”

A lot of people talked about what T-Mobile and Saatchi and Saatchi did. The video of the flash mob even became a viral sensation! Until now, it’s still racking up views, having reached 41 million in total on YouTube!

The campaign also won the 2010 British Television Advertising Award for Best TV Commercial because the video was shown on TV across the country at that time.

The success of the first campaign also led to another successful flash mob by T-Mobile. The second one was done at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2010, with the video of the event racking up over 16 million views on YouTube since!

Sometime after both campaigns, T-Mobile UK executed a successful merger with fellow telecom brand Orange UK and rebranded the company to Everything Everywhere. The merger turned it into one of the largest communications companies in the UK, with over 30 million network subscribers across the country in 2010!

Flash mobs tend to be a successful form of guerrilla marketing because they generate a genuine and candid reaction from the crowd. This causes more people to wonder what is going on, with some taking videos and sharing it on social media!

While T-Mobile is a major brand, smaller businesses can use flash mobs for promotion as well! You can invite people in your community to participate in an event, and create a fun and clever way to market your brand!

If you are looking to add the element of surprise in your next marketing campaign, a flash mob might just do the trick!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing is inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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