A YouTube hit, a clever fashion promotion whatever the motivation, a flash mob seems to be the new hip way to do it.
As a group of 200 regular Mumbaikars dancing to Rang De Basanti… at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus recently revealed, this exercise in calculated randomness can attract eyeballs and willing participants across all age groups.
Shonan Kothari, who organised the CST mela on November 28, reveals, “I started off writing a long email, just explaining what a flash mob is and sent it to people who’d want to participate.”
Kothari admits that the element of surprise is the most important ingredient for a successful flash mob, and to maintain that, she banned all participants from sharing the news on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Given that her goal was a getting a video uploaded on YouTube, Kothari admits she took pains to make sure the dancers belonged to different age groups and demographics.
“If you have all people of the same age, the crowd can easily discern who is going to start dancing next. We had a girl with a fracture dancing and some participants even brought their house help along,” she says, adding that keeping the event a secret was the most difficult part. “We didn’t even allow the participants to get their friends and family to watch them.”
Shubhika Sharma who created a fashion flash mob in a city restaurant and nightclub, with models to promote her clothing label Papa Don’t Preach, admits that finding the right venue was her biggest obstacle.
“You need a place that’s big enough, yet has the crowd,” she explains, adding, “We also had to make sure there were enough bouncers to control the situation, and told the models to think on their feet.”
Flash mob tutorial-
1.When planning a flash mob, make sure the participants keep it a secret. The element of surprise is key. Don’t post it on Facebook or Twitter, as you may get too many responses.
2. Get all the necessary permissions before you attempt one at a public place. Kothari contacted the railway officials, and despite not having any inside influence, managed to win them over with a well-detailed presentation.
3. Choose your location wisely. You need enough space to move around, but enough audience to create an impact.