Flash mob, are you part of it?

Polski: Salsa flash mob w Złotych Tarasach, 29...

A flash mob in Poland


The CST Flash Mob organised a day after the 26/11 anniversary in Mumbai by Shonan Kothari has caught nation’s imagination with 1,14,1671 views in four days on YouTube. The mix of youth, dance and rhythm on the tunes of Rang de basanti proved to be just too irresistible for netizens who led the viral onslaught through Twitter and Facebook



Flash mobs are characterised by a large group of people who are often mobilized using social networks like Facebook and Twitter to meet in a public place for doing an unusual or entertaining activity of short duration. Flash mob incidents are closely coordinated among group members involving a lot of secrecy who show up at a pre-decided venue in casual clothes to carry out their act. Dispersing soon after is part of their gimmick keeping the awe and the wow factor to maximum.


Its won’t be long before Chandigarh could witness its own flash mob to rave about on YouTube, if city based dance artist Jasmeet, who runs a dance facilitation centre Jas K Shan Dance Dacha, has her way. “Flash mobs are not just exclusive to youth, we have requests from 5 to 65 year olds, who would like to flash their dancing shoes as part of a mob. And we will be doing it on Kolaveri di,” said a beaming Jasmeet. “We can’t tell you when and where, lets keep it a surprise,” she added.


Flash mobs are often part of integrated campaigns by corporations to spread their brand messages virally, videos like ‘T-Mobile Welcome Back’ organised at Heathrow terminal 5 to welcome back passengers through a talented group of singers using no instruments went viral with 10mn hits. This gets them maximum brand exposure spread organically through social networks at no extra cost compared to paid ad slots on TV worth millions.


Here is a run down of top 5 flash mob videos that have gone viral.


T-Mobile Dance:



Topping the list with 32mn hits is T-Mobile dance video held at Liverpool Street Station in 2009, where 350 people broke into a choreographed dance routine only to see commuters join in, which was a shoot for ‘Life’s for Sharing’ campaign. YouTube hits: 32,207,888


Sound of Music:



Performed at Central station of Antwerp by more than 200 dancers on Do Re Mi in 2009 break into 24mn hits. This was a promotional stunt for a Belgian TV program to find the lead role for the musical of ‘The Sound of Music’. YouTube hits: 24,882,213


Frozen Grand Central:



Held at Grand Central Terminal in New York by ‘Improv Everywhere’ got 28mn hits, Here in a coordinated stunt 207 people froze at the same time, some eating popcorn, others sipping coffee or tieing shoe laces. YouTube hits: 28,971,709


Bristol Lightsaber:



Held in Bristol, UK at Bristol Cabot Circus in 2009, where a large group of geeks gathered for an epic lightsaber battle to fight the evil at the amusement of onlookers. YouTube hits: 542,561


…and our favourite is ‘Bollywood Hero Flash Mob’ at Times Square held in 2009 with 1mn hits. In the centre of Times Square dozens of Bollywood dancers suddenly began to dance on the tunes of Dhoom tana from Om Shanti Om. This was held for the promotion of Bollywood Hero series on IFC. YouTube hits: 1,882,256



Organise your own flash mob


• Get a core group of 4-5 people sworn to secrecy, each well connected through Facebook and Twitter.


• Decide what you want to do: dance, sing, stunts or just show up in weired costumes. Let your imagination go wild.


• Ask each member of the group to recruit 10-20 more members, who can work hard with your routine and not gossip around. Or you can also use social networks to inform your friends of friends to show up at a given time with as much information as possible about what to do.


• Take necessary permissions, especially if you are going to perform at a mall or public place that sees lot of traffic.


• Show up and perform. You success depends on how much you can get others around to participate and have fun.


• Most important part: record your video and post it on video sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and start sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

Here is my article on Flash mobs, inspired by recent flash mob organised at Mumbai’s CST. Originally published in Daily Post




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