“Just Dance”

One busy London train station, 350 dancers and an unsuspecting public = Viral Marketing Magic for T-Mobile.

This week I decided to review T-Mobiles recent and incredibly viral campaign that brought the company’s motto “Life’s for Sharing” to life. The goal behind a viral marketing campaign is to use social networks to produce or increase brand awareness. If you have not seen the video yet, take a look. It is safe to wager that T-Mobile certainly increase its brand awareness after this:

In my research what I have found is that across all countries the successful viral marketing campaign is one that connects people over a common feeling of community, excitement, celebration or enjoyment. In Brazil we saw people getting excited about a giant bag of Doritos but we know it wasn’t just the cheesy goodness of the chips it was the entire brand experience the product delivered. In Brazil, Doritos understood how to tap into the interests of its people and then used social media tools to keep their interest and involvement. T-Mobile figured out how to do the same thing in the UK.

As a mobile phone provider a company has an interesting challenge because people are attached to the service a mobile phone provides but not necessarily where they get that service from and at the end of the day the customer cares about price and quality of service. So, how can a brand get the publics attention and stand out among its competitors?

In this case T-Mobile turned to the folks at Saatchi & Saatchi London to create a flash mob of dance on January 15, 2009 at Liverpool Station in London. The result was a viral marketing sensation with 13, 378, 210 views on YouTube. This was a big win for T-Mobile because they made a connection with people beyond the purposes of a cell phone. This is how you can create brand loyalty. We also know that YouTube recently replaced Wikipedia as the number one social networking site in the UK so this strategy leveraged an online tool that the Brits are already inclined to use. T-Mobile went were the conversation was already happening and gave people something to talk about. You can see the reactions of the unsuspecting public here. The honest and authentic reactions from the people in this video are worth millions in marketing dollars.

One thing is for sure – “Just Dance” isn’t just a catchy lyric from Lady Gaga but a sure-fire way to garner the publics attention. It’s also been proven that large choreographed dance numbers in the middle of train stations can work in Belgium too. This one is from VTM in Belgium. Although it is for a different company the strategy is the same. VTM created an event that communicated beyond the service or product the brand provides and connected with people.

As I prepare to join the rest of my GlobalCC classmates for a week in London I am secretly hoping T-Mobile attempts to pull off another hit!  No doubt I would join in on the dance party.

Feel free to follow all of us on Twitter at our group tweet account http://www.twitter.com/globalcc

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3 Responses to “Just Dance”

  1. mintybeth says:

    All of these group dance efforts and “flash mobs” all stem from the early 2001 efforts of the group Improv Everywhere. An actor and new transplant to NYC joined his friends at a bar and pulled a prank, pretending to be the musician Ben Folds. As he puts it, he got tired of telling the story over and over so he posted it online and a web success was born. Their Frozen Grand Central piece from January 2008 scored more than 18 million views on YouTube!

    So the question is: can you find true originality nowadays in social media or is everyone just building upon the success of another company’s first efforts?

  2. JTitus says:

    You make a great point but I would argue that while this campaign may have lacked originality seeing that the idea had been done before it did have authenticity. It would seem that wherever these flashmobs take place – if you can capture genuine enjoyment and entertainment on behalf of the general public that is what we enjoy seeing and what turns it into a viral success.

  3. jtitus15 says:

    You make a great point. I thought about this myself but I found that although the idea may not be original as it had be done before. I did find it authentic which is what I believe makes it viral. Personally, I enjoy watching the reactions of the general public and choose believe that every piece isn’t scripted. It’s the same script with different characters but in this case, it seems to work.

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