Even the Shopping Centres are trying Buzz Marketing
It’s Thursday night and I had to go down to Warringah Mall, my local shopping centre.
As I walked into the entrance, a girl shot out from the crowd and just started dancing, in the forecourt. You could say it got my attention, because it’s not every day a young lady breaks into spontaneous dance in the middle of a shopping centre. Then another girl dropped her shopping bag and joined the girl dancing. A businessman in a suit ditched his briefcase and joined the girls.
What’s going on?
Shoppers started peeling off from different directions, dropping their shopping bags and joining the dancers. They were all dancing in step.
Within 5 minutes, the crowd swelled, hundreds of people were staring at 20, no make that 30 dancers strutting their stuff.
The spellbound crowd watched in amazement as more of their fellow shoppers, would drop everything and pick up the dance routine.
Looking around at the mesmerised shoppers, they were not sure what they were witnessing. You could see them wondering, “Should I join in too?”
The onlookers were scanning the crowd to see who would be next.
There’s something magical, watching 30 or so dancers jiving in time to the beat.
The crowd keep swelling, there were now more than 500 people watching this spectacle unfold.
Why are they doing this?
What’s the purpose?
After about 15 minutes, the dancers stop and walked over to where they had left their Warringah Mall Shopping Bags and drifted into the crowd.
So without any announcement, the music stopped and the dancers dispersed into the crowd. They were gone.
Conversations bubbled in the forecourt as friends asked each other. “Who were theses dancers?” and “Why out of the blue, did they start dancing?”
You’ve probably seen the clips on YouTube of people in public settings, just breaking out into spontaneous dancing.
People just want to participate, they feel compelled to join in.
Everybody wanted to share what had just happened. “Did you see how the girl managed to created so much excitement, people want to get up and dance with her”
I told 5 of my friends. “Guess what I saw at Warringah Mall”.
Wow, do you get that. Now that’s what you call Buzz Marketing.
It reminded me of the YouTube sensation, when commuters started dancing to Sound of Music, on an Antwerp Train Station, a couple of years a go.
The shopping centre obviously organised this, because about 40 minutes later, at the other end of Warringah Mall. I saw the same spontaneous dancing erupt.
So how does it work, it’s based the concept of social proof. Most people would never consider dancing in public, (yeah I know some people are just born exhibitors and can’t help themselves.) But a funny thing happens once a couple of people join in the dancing, deep down you’re wishing you could do that. The next thing you’re caught in the moment and now you’re John Travolta in a remake of Saturday Night Fever.
These spontaneous dances are usually a well orchestrated, Buzz Marketing Events, designed to engage the public. They work because of social proof, if you see one person dancing, you’re thinking this happy person dancing is odd. If suddenly the numbers keep swelling and it looks like they’re enjoying themselves, now you want to be part of this magic. As more people join in, it pulls more people in and compels them to let go of their inhabitations. Now you want to dance.
Suddenly everybody taken on emotional journey, they’re feeling good and want to share this experience.