engaging, experiencing

Seeing beyond the Stunt…

thanks to Jonathan Pearson for this link…  over 200 people freeze in place on cue in Grand Central Station in New York.  what’s great about this isn’t just that it’s a simple, elegant example of how drama can be created in public spaces; but rather the response it got from the bystanders in and around the station…  not only were they intrigued throughout the stunt but gave spontaneous applause at the end.

they didn’t know why they were clapping and cheering, they just knew they’d witnessed something different, amusing and out of the (all too) ordinary.  it would be great to see this kind of sponteneity incorporated into comms planning – in previous posts I’ve talked about how we should be encouraging consumers to join the dots for themsleves, by creating what JJ Abrams calls Mystery Boxes…

I can’t imagine a better mystery box than the one in the above video…  why did they freeze?  what’s going on?  what happens next?  will they do it again?  the answer in the above case was that it was for art and art alone, but if it could be harnessed as a means of engaging consumers with a brand idea, it could become very powerful indeed…

I think things like this are all too often dismissed as stunts.  and yes a stunt it undoubtedly is, but when incorporated into a multi-media (transmedia) campaign, it could potentially be a great deal more.  what’s lacking are not better stunts, but the imagination to build such events into campaigns in intriguing and relevant ways.


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