More Guerrilla Please

It seems that Flash Mobs have become all the rage. With multiple Youtube videos, an appearance in the season premiere of Weeds and a surprisingly detailed entry on Wikipedia, they really can’t get much more mainstream.

Frozen Grand Central from ImprovEverywhere on Vimeo.

In Januray 2009, T-Mobile adopted the dance Flash Mob for its ad ‘Life is for sharing”. Lately advertising has taken to guerrilla as a way to garner more exposure. According to Business Week article, ‘Advertising: When Guerrilla Goes Bourgeois’, “Guerrilla advertising is a catch-all phrase for nontraditional advertising campaigns that take the form of theatrically staged public scenes or events, often carried out without city permits or advance public hype”.

T-Mobile Dance from Jef Eckart on Vimeo.

Don’t you wish you were there? Some would argue that this is simply another example of advertisers ripping off underground culture for profit. However, isn’t it their job to find relevant ways to grab our attention? We are constantly complaining about how boring and predictable ads have become; pushing pricing, taking jabs at competitors, boring us with their predictable announcement of a new product, and don’t get me started on all the fine print. Why not take those generous budgets and actually entertain us for a change? Of course they have an ulterior motive, but who cares, they just made hundreds of peoples’ day far more exciting. We give companies thousands of our hard earned dollars every year, and all they can seem to do is spend it on trying to convince us to spend more. How about rewarding us with a bit of entertainment; brighten our day. Campaigns like the one for T-Mobile are not about a ‘brand new, great value, low cost’ product, it’s about earning affection for their brand. Maybe brands should try a bit harder to buy our love. What better way then making your brand the highlight of my day?

*Note: Please don’t misconstrue this as a plea for our streets to be bombarded with atrocious amounts of uninspired events. Only genuinely creative campaigns need vie for my attention.