In recent years, flash mobs have become an Internet sensation around the country. Various groups have organized them for one reason or another. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who’s real name is Colson Baker, was arrested in suburban Cleveland over the weekend for attempting to organize a flash mob at a local shopping mall. 21-year-old Kelly tried to organize the flash mob via Twitter. As the crowd gathered Saturday, Kelly and two others got onto tables and refused to get off them when mall management told them to do so. The police were called and Kelly was arrested.
There have been, however, some very successful flash mobs. Here are a few that have managed to gain some very positive media attention and postings on social networking sites.
Christmas Food Court, Hallelujah Chorus
On Nov. 13, 2010, over 100 participants from the Chorus Niagara sang “Hallelujah” in the food court at The Welland Seaway Mall. It was beautifully sung and the only purpose of this flash mob was to wish everyone a merry Christmas. Alphabet Photography organized it and the video became an overnight sensation, with over 34 million hits on YouTube.
T-Mobile Flash Mob
T-Mobile organized a flash mob for advertising purposes on Jan. 15, 2009, at the Liverpool Street Station. There were about 350 undercover dancers placed around the station who performed to various songs. It took about 80 hours worth of rehearsal and, from the looks on the faces of many people, every hour was worth it. This video has become a huge hit and a successful advertising campaign for T-Mobile with over 30 million views on YouTube.
The Ohio State University Flash Mob
On May 3, 2010, a flash mob broke out at the Ohio Union on the campus of Ohio State University. The Union had recently opened and “Don’t Stop Believin'” from Fox’s hit show “Glee” was chosen. About 70 students and staff were part of the mob, including university president E. Gordon Gee and mascot Brutus Buckeye. The video has gotten over 2 million hits on YouTube.
As more and more flash mobs appear, there has been some public concern and debate as to whether or not they should be allowed and if they are safe. Even though recent press has not always been favorable, there can be flash mobs that can be fun for those involved as well as for those who have the opportunity to see them. Organizers of flash mobs need to be aware of how they will be perceived and their motive in order to evaluate whether or not their flash mob will be a success.