Tag Archives: flash mob

I don't watch commercials. Not when they're on TV. I don't even have cable or spend much time watching the few channels I do have because I stream or download all my shows. And I patently ignore any commercials that come on before YouTube videos.

But now and again, I'll see a commercial go viral, and thanks to the internet, I can actually choose the commercials I want to see and decide for myself how effective they are. These videos don't always have a lot of flash or substance but they do have something that speaks to me: authenticity in effort and genuine emotion. These things will always win over manufactured desires--empty, winding roads with sexy cars and fake women in the passenger seat; overly attractive men and women partying in a million-dollar mansions, etc.

For the record, I do enjoy Chipotle, I want to buy a Chevy Sonic and listen to more of OK Go's music, and while I don't drink Bud on a regular basis, I do have some modicum of respect for the commercial, whether or not it's staged.

Here are a few of my recent favorite commercials.

Chipotle:

 

Chevy Sonic and OK Go Needing/Getting:

 

Budweiser's Flash Fans commercial (from the Superbowl):

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I love flash mobs. I love the spontaneity of a group of people gathering to perform, the energy of a surprise live performance by amateurs, the sheer audacity and pure spirit that comes with occupying a public space and turning it into a stage. While some flash mobs consist of impromptu gatherings of people given instructions via an MP3 recording and instructions via the internet, my favorite flash mobs involve musical performance. Watching flash mobs makes me quiver, and I hope one day to be lucky enough to a) see one and b) perform in one.

Of course these kinds of performances aren't spontaneous. They take weeks of planning, practice and organizing. If you think it's hard just trying to get your friends together for dinner once a month, imagine gathering hundreds of unskilled, untrained strangers and teaching them choreography for a one-off public show.

Good writing is a lot like a flash mob. It looks effortless, spontaneous and authentic, but it took hours of hard labor to get it just right. It captures your attention, entertains you, and afterward, departs as if it was never there, leaving you, the viewer, wondering what just hit you, and why you can't have more right now.

For your entertainment, I present a few of my favorite flash mobs.

Official Seattle Glee Flash Mob Video - Seattle, Westlake

 

Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

 

"one test more" - engineering musical flashmob!

 

Flash mob at Copenhagen Central Station. Copenhagen Phil playing Ravel's Bolero.

 

Jamin's Downtown Disney Flashmob Proposal