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Commercial Flash Mobbing

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July 14, 2005

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July 15, 2005 Now this isn’t a gizmo, but it is a very interesting twist on using new media in a clever new way. Several of America's most talented and intriguing rock and hip hop music artists will perform in a series of free, up-close-and-personal "flash concerts" for fans across America this summer -- but there's only one catch, they're keeping the details secret. Ford Motor Company in collaboration with Sony Pictures Digital have created Fusion Flash Concerts, a series of ten free unannounced-until-the-last-minute concerts performed by hot and emerging music artists in secret locations across the USA. All 10 acts are announced to "Insiders" at the last minute and you can be an insider if you visit the Fusion Flash Concerts web site and register all your details. Now Flash Mobbing isn’t new – but using it for commercial ends is a new spin on the anarchic beginnings of the trend. Fusion Flash Concerts is a commercial take on the underground "flash mob" phenomenon. Flash mobs are instant gatherings of large groups of people who are notified via emails or text messages just prior to the event taking place, and simultaneously converge on a set location.

Fusion Flash Concerts feature performances by The Roots, who kicked off the series in New York yesterday and Jermaine Dupri, who will follow up with a performance in Atlanta in the near future. Details on confirmed performances by Fat Joe, Yellowcard, Pete Yorn and five other musical acts including cities, dates and venues are available exclusively via email and text messages once visitors register at www.fusionflashconcerts.com.

Fusion Flash Concerts is a commercial take on the underground "flash mob" phenomenon. Flash mobs are instant gatherings of large groups of people who are notified via emails or text messages just prior to the event taking place, and simultaneously converge on a set location. In this case, fans will converge throughout the summer to see amazing live musical performances.

Fans can visit www.fusionflashconcerts.com or text "Go" to 35274 (Flash) on their mobile phones to register as an "Insider," to find out if their favorite artists will be performing at a park, club, pier or parking lot near them. Insiders receive up-to-the-minute e-mails as well as "Flash Alerts" (text messages) powered exclusively by Cingular, which reveal details on the artists, cities, venues and show times. Cingular Wireless subscribers receive added perks for registering, including early "Flash Alerts" and premier viewing area access at the concerts.

The Fusion Flash Concerts website also features exclusive video, a tour blog, concert reviews, a "mash-up" remix contest hosted by ACIDplanet.com, 10 music downloads provided by connect.com, and the chance to win prizes including an all-new 2006 Ford Fusion sedan, Sony consumer electronics and VIP access to the shows.

In addition, plans are in the works to release a compilation disk of participating artists in the Fusion Flash Concerts that will be available for sale exclusively at Target retail locations at the conclusion of the Fusion Flash Concerts series.

Consumers can also visit www.fordvehicles.com to "fuse" their own photographs with other uploaded photos from music fans around the world, to create an entirely new, stand alone image.

Ford Motor Company is sponsoring Fusion Flash Concerts in a grassroots effort to amplify the street buzz surrounding the debut of its 2006 Fusion sedan.

"This is all about challenging people to break free from their reality TV shows and office cubes, and inviting them to come out and play with us," offered Marty Collins, General Marketing Manager, Ford Division. "We're committed to building trusted, lasting relationships with music lovers over time vs. 'marketing to' them," he added.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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