Rockstar CMO Flash Mob Article

Rockstar CMO is a new voice in the marketing industry. Our jam is to share big marketing opinions and ideas undiluted with business speak, to create and share stuff that people really give a crap about, and give some daytime airtime to those that might otherwise be on late night marketing radio. No jargon, no bullshit.

A long-form running copy feature, organically weaving interviewee insights and injecting a strong narrative thread that thoroughly explores the topic – keeping the reader entertained and engaged. Outline the key consumer insights and opportunities for brands. How is this likely to evolve? What can our readers take from this and apply to their own marketing?

This is a series of snippets. You can go here to read the feature in full.


You might have wondered what happened to the flash mob. But, if you thought it was dead, you couldn’t have been more wrong.

It’s undead.

Flash Mob zombies

The media, along with the New York hipster-mill, was infected. In the years following, the concept started to pick up in complexity and scale. Wasik’s social experiment turned into performance art, designed more for the spectacle than the study of the mob itself. The new format also carried messages. Movements, protests, political stands and, you guessed it, brands.

It spread at an unprecedented rate. Through video phones, faster download times and the big-hitting social media platforms (Facebook in 2004, Youtube in 2005, Twitter in 2006), the flash mob went viral.

    The golden formula

A branded flash mob is, at its heart, an ad. Whether the company name is up front in the video title or subtly shone through the content itself, the point is to raise awareness and increase brand equity. No matter how clever or fluffy, it’s still an ad.

And key to the success of this type of ad, is emotional connection. The staying power of the flash mob is a testament to the power of emotion in brand messaging. Joy and surprise, even presented in a replicated formula of group dance, landed with consumers time and time again for the best part of 10 years.

    The vaccine

According to Google Trends, flash mobs have fallen 93% in popularity since May 2011. Branded flash mobs still exist today, but they’re vacant husks – shuffling around in dark corners of the internet, a dozen-too-many clicks through YouTube’s related content, looking for some braaains.

The branded flash mob might be chained to a radiator (how else do you deal with an exhausted zombie?), but a healthier, community-driven version has taken its place. And that’s the way the flash mob will stay. In the physical space. Wedding proposals, 60th birthdays and community projects, connected by a shared experience.

Go here to read the feature in full.