Does the thought of Christmas shopping get you excited or wear you out? For a few holiday shoppers, the trend of flash mobs, a twist on the time-honored tradition of publicity stunts, turned into a cultural experience. Interestingly, a photography company tried a stunt, with the help of many, many dozen singers at a local mall. Watch and listen here for the results. (And by the way, Merry Christmas!)

22 thoughts on “Christmas Flash Mob

  1. If you are as big of a sucker for flash mobs as I am, I encourage you to visit the site improveverywhere.com. It has some pretty brilliant stuff in there. In regards to this particular flash mob, this one video received over 31 million views. By hiring some talented singers and someone to capture the moment, this company effectively used a viral video with very little costs. It worked for them and associated their company with holiday spirit and a positive reputation. My only real criticism of it the whole thing is the length of the flash mob. Its all one song, and there isn’t any variety. If you look at other flash mobs, there is usually dancing, or a little bit of variety involved to keep the attention so people may be be more inclined to watch the whole video.

  2. This video reminds me of a flash mob that I recently watch on youtube. The video can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULVQOneeZE. It’s very entertaining to watch flash mob videos because of the audiences reaction. I never thought of flash mobs as publicity stunts until now. I am wondering how this stunt relates to photography. Maybe this stunt promotes the ability of “capturing” an unexpected moment.

  3. I have always wanted to participate in a flash mob but have only viewed several online. My favorite flash mob was done with cellphones in a library. Hundreds of people checked in their purses and backpacks at the door of the library and using different cell phone carrier ring tones, they were able to make a musical flash mob. It started subtle and then escalated, breaking the silence and causing chaos.
    I think this example is mediocre compared to the organizational skills required in others I have seen.

  4. I have to say that I also find flash mobs very compelling when done correctly. What I find especially important in this case is the natural tie-in created by people photographing this spectacle that came out of nowhere. People love a break from the routine when something positive happens at an unexpected time, relating this feeling with the photography company through a product specific flash mob is just about as good as it gets. Having the performers mingle with the unsuspecting viewers stays true to the term mob, often times when people call something a flash mob I feel it’s a bit of a misnomer, but not in this case.

    As already pointed out, I also think the song was too repetitive which allowed for the viewers to gain a certain level of comfort with the performance. I know this is general statement, but I feel that the goal of these flash mobs is to keep the viewer on the edge of his/her seat for the duration of the performance. Although I would have picked a different song, the end product was not compromised by the decisions made.

  5. This is an incredible video, I always wanted to see them in the reality and hearing them singing live front of me; they have a really nice voices,enthusiasm and energy. The interesting part is that there were a verity of ages as you can notice from the video old and young people have participated in this flash mob. Recently I saw a lot of video about flash mobs such as people who suddenly freeze or dance etc. This is very entertainment to me I really like it and want to join these kind of flash mob if I have chance.

  6. I love flash mobs and would love to be in one. The Michael Jackson ones are great and they are all over the world, even as close as Seattle. I do agree with Emily that this one, although filled with talented singers, was a bit lame compared to other flash mobs that are filled with dancing as well. I can’t imagine how loud the singers must have been in an area essentially lined with tile. The kid standing on the chair was just mesmerized; awesome way to hear great gospel music.

  7. Even though I don’t have relaigion, but I still think this video is very cool. I think the meaning of this video is very relating to PR because it shows us that only few people can affect more and more people to joy you. Such as in the video, we are pretty sure that the first couple of people are from the group of chorus, but later on, when more and more people joyed, it became more and more difficult for us to know who are the people from the chorus and who are just a normall consumers. Therefore, trends always can make a lot of people to follow but aslo always make the follower don’t know what they are doing.

  8. I have always loved the flash mobs. The Michael Jackson ones are my favorite and I always hear about those ones. I think it’s pretty neat to see the talent that people have and completely love that they have guts to perform like that. People are crazy and one thing I love about these is that they are random and entertaining.

  9. I love the flash mobs, and it’s great to see many participants joining and sharing memorable moments. I would like to be one of the flash mobs if possible because its such a prompt activity that it must fun to show my guts feel. I also thank that doing the flash mobs always requires a person to start off the event, and he or she really needs to be able to persuade other to react like them. I love to see people sharing the happiness, and it might sometimes look crazy or wired, but it’s worth to see amazing reaction from those people.

  10. I still remembered most of my parts of this song. Every year I mean to get out to see Handel’s Messiah. They have sing along versions as well. It was a tradition in my high school that every winter concert would end with the Hallelujah chorus and any returning alumni could join the current students on stage. It was amazing to see the number of people who would return to sing for the director who had been there over 20 years. I believe he picked up the tradition from the previous director. So we had a large range of ages on stage each year. It is amazing that in a lot of ways the singing voice gets better with age, especially for men and especially for choral music.

    None of this has much to do with the PR impact of this particular flash mob, except that this song means different things to different people. I think it would be amazing to stage a battle in a food court while a choir sings from O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. (you’ve heard it in many battle scenes) I’m just saying that O Furtuna is really a intense and theatrical piece and would create a totally different vibe.

  11. I would like to see an instance of a company/brand trying to generate PR by using a flash mob in some way. I’m sure it has happened before, but nothing stands out. How would a flash mob for a company like subway, mcdonalds, coke be received?

  12. I love flash mobs. There’s something inherently optimistic about their organization, execution, and reception. It’s that eager willingness to stand up and ask that your fellow human being drop the facade of individualism and embrace, if only for a few minutes, that interconnectedness that demands participation even when it’s only passive participation.

  13. While a moving example of holiday spirit and the power of surprise, I found this video to be disjointed from photography and the brand flashed in the super frame. That transfer of “fuzzy feelings” or temporary escapism might work for some, but how did these unassuming audience members know who sponsored the mob? Did they have to sign a waiver for YouTube uploading? Furthermore, a brand’s subscription to any type of religious viewpoint can be treacherous.

    1. I agree. I thought this was a great idea in order to get people in the Christmas mood, but I don’t think anyone in that cafeteria understood it was for a photography company. This would be a great tactic for the mall to use to increase Christmas shopping, especially EARLY Christmas shopping since this flash mob was done in early November. Putting people in the Christmas spirit and lifting their mood will most likely equal more spending while you are already at the mall. As far as photography, they should have used a different method to ensure listeners WHY they were doing this.

  14. The first thing I would like to say about this flash mob was that it was a holiday song sung on Nov. 10. I really do not like Christmas before December. As for the flash mob I though it was well done and I think flash mobs are a great mood lifter. Though this flash mob was done as a publicity stunt for a photography company. I don’t quite get how flash mob and photography come together. So while the flash mob was fun I don’t think this stunt worked the way it should have.

    1. I think the idea is to get people ready for Christmas holiday starts from November. I don’t know if that is really early or not but it is nice moments for those who were around the flash mobs. I have heard of those flash mobs but never seen them in real life before. I wish to watch them anywhere but not be a part with them.
      It seems to me that they are just celebrating Christmas only. They did not mention anything about their company name or product at all in the video.

  15. I also love flash mobs; it’s a great way to catch the public’s attention. What is amazing about flash mobs is the effect of surprise on the public. As an example, in this video, when the first singer starts, nobody really understands what’s going on, and the public spends a little bit of time figuring out what’s happening.
    What I wonder about is how they link the flash mobs to the product or the brand. In the video, we only see the people singing, and everyone likes it, they are talented, and it’s a good initiative for Christmas, but how it relates to the photography company?
    I think flash mobs offer huge opportunities to promote brands or products, but they are risky and need to be handled carefully. I would love to participate to one, and to experience the anxiety to see if people are going to follow you as it’s supposed to be. I think that flash mobs, used to promote a brand, give it a lot of credibility because it’s a human experience. If a group of people concords to assemble for a specific mobilization, the public usually feels that they agree with the message being conveyed, and it’s really entertaining!

  16. I think the reason flash mobs would be effective for any PR campaign or stunt, is it’s uniqueness. People inherently remember and retain information or a memory that is important or memorable. But give it another 2-3 years, and if these flash mobs dont continue to evolve or just remain about singing and dancing, then it’s effectiveness will wear off some. It is hilarious though to see the reactions on some of the bystanders’ faces!

  17. I think it’s really funny how the flash mobs made all the participants join them in the memorable moment of Christmas song. I really think it was a great idea how everyone in the mall was in the mood of singing, and I really believe it was a good tactic to do it in cafeteria mall. One of my favorite flash mobs was with their cellphones and how many people checked in their backpacks at the door. Overall, it was very entertaining moment, and I wouldn’t mind joining.

  18. Where did flash mobs originate? Who was the person that first thought of it? who was the person that figured to make it viral?

    I enjoyed the Christmas flash mob and it reminded me of quite a few that i have seen. There seems to be 2 breeds of flash mobs. There are the random people come together and sing and dance flash mob. And then there are the flash mobs where random people are waiting for a stranger to do something and then celebrate it.

    I cant wait to see how the flash mobs continue to evolve with further creative innovation. One of my favorites involve a plastic bottle lying on the floor next to a trash can and nobody seems to pick up the bottle but as soon as a lady does and puts in the trash the flash mob cheer for her….. its a great video if you haven’t seen it and is probably the best use i have seen of a flash mob.

    Even though flash mobs are great social experiments they do have recent downfalls. There have been news reports of shoplifting flash mobs in which a group of people go into a store and rob the place…… Sounds like Flash mobs are about to have a PR crisis…….

  19. This is the first time i heard about this company, but what they did is really amazing. However, i don’t feel like this is really original, and i don’t directly see why alphabet photography company choose to deliver a message through a flash mob event. It is a good promotion for their company and brand name, it is not a good promotion about what their business is.

  20. It seems like a well executed attempt at utilizing guerilla marketing. Flash mobs are immensely popular now and when done right, gain huge amounts of attention like this one did. It captures the spirit of Christmas effectively and, as the video showed, was contagious to those that witnessed it. For a photography company, it seems like a smart idea to use this approach. It was well thought out (good singers, timing, choreography) and it provides the potential for catchy advertising. The only negative i could find was in the length of the video. Watching a flash mob sing a repitive song such as the one featured can potentially lead to a loss in interest of viewers.

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