What do you call a flash mob that has been paid for? Think hard before you answer this.
Now let me complicate it a bit for you:
When connected to a PR campaign, we tend to see it as the evil astro-turfing. Plenty of these examples around us. Those the angry mobs showing up with signs to loudly disrupt town hall meetings as a form of protest against healthcare reform, are suspiciously PR-backed astroturfing practices. TechPresident ‘reveals’ that there is a method behind this madness.
Then there’s the third kind. When connected to marketing, the flash mob could be used to bring attention to a product in a public place. Funny how we have no problem with this, even though it also disrupts civilian life, and appears to be a spontaneous expression of the hoi polloi.
This highly choreographed event earlier this year by Saatchi and Saatchi, for T-mobile at London’s busy Liverpool Street station is a good example of how the lines are being blurred as the radius between sender and receiver gets stretched.