3.en.79 flash mobs, carrot mobs, smart mobs

We have talked about publicity and innovative campaigns several times in English lessons. Do you remember the theory of fun? the musical stairways in Stockholm?  which aimed at making pople change their behaviour by making  things attractive and fun to do?

Well, this post has to do with publicity and changing your consumer habits. Ideas spread fast in a wired world. Flash mobs are part of this phenomenom. I’m sure that all of you have seen them in You tube, on TV or you might have even taken part in one.  This weekend there was a piece of news in El País about one of these initiatives taken place in  Zaragoza. You can read the whole article clicking hereHere follows a link to the web page where you can find more about the origin of this idea and the campaigns they are involved on.

Here’s a video.

  • Would you say that it is just another way of making money?
  • What makes it better than a boycott?
  • What kind of media did they use to advertise it?
  • Can you see any drawbacks?
  • Would you say it is a good idea?
  • Would you change your consumer habits if you knew part of the profits would revert in a good cause?
  • Have you learnt any new words?
  • Did you hear the following words and expressions?  ” instead of” sustainable” “to go green” “a chord” “hardware store” “bike locker” “local business” “good impact”
Homework: Post your answers and comments to the blog for 2nd May

3.en.59 Viral videos and “the fun theory campaign”

Do you remember last year post about subway stairs being transformed into a real life piano key board? By now you all know how beautiful the Stockholm underground is and how Swedish rely on public transport much more than we do, so it will not bother you to go up the stairs once again, will it? Now that you have your own Stockholm street map you can spot the Tunelbana station, Odenplan, where the experiment took place.

Well, the experiment was part of  campaign of a publicity agency,  DDB Stockholm. Though the campaign was promoted by Volkswagen, it aimed at promoting how changing lazy behaviour is not that difficult  and claimed that  discovering the fun side of acting responsibly could be rewarding.  Probably Volkswagen wanted to  associate its brand with  the idea of environmentally friendly cars.

  • Do you think it worked?

In this kind of publicity, the brand name, Wolkswagen is subtle, it just appears at the end of the video as VW logo.

  • Can you think of any other campaigns where the brand name or the product being advertised is also difficult to spot?
  • Do you know what a viral is?
  • Do you recycle bottles? Can you think of a way to make it fun?

Well, this experiment took place in Stockholm too and this is what happened?

  • How many people used the new bottle bank in one night?
  • How many people used the average containers?

Finally, the agency launched a contest to make people contribute to their fun theory with new ideas.

This was the idea that won the contest. Let’s see what you think about it. Have you got any bright ideas yourselves?

  • Do you think fun can change behaviour for the better?
  • How does the speed camera lottery work?
  • Did the  speed camera lottery make drivers slow down?


Post your answers and comment to the blog for Friday 18th