Ruth Mitchell

Newcastle Quayside 'flash mobbed'

Around two hundred young people took part in a ‘flash mob’ on Newcastle’s Quayside to kick-start a national campaign for Enterprise Week.

The group of young people aged between 18 and 30 were gathered by The bgroup in just 24 hours to take part in a mysterious photo shoot. The location of the shoot was kept a close secret until the night before, but at 9am the following day the “flash mobbers” got together, ran up and down steps near the Copthorne Hotel for 20 minutes and then vanished, much to the surprise of onlookers.

The flash mobbing technique used by The bgroup started in New York in 2003. It is the name given to the phenomena of a large group of people who meet up to do something together in a public place, and then disappear as quickly as they arrive.

The unusual photoshoot came in response to a brief by Enterprise Insight (the organisation behind Enterprise Week) who tasked The bgroup with creating materials to demonstrate urgency and momentum for Enterprise Week - a national campaign to encourage young people to become more enterprising.

Although the creative agency is familiar with unusual guerrilla marketing techniques, having worked within the youth and enterprise market for five years, organising flash mobs in less than 24 hours marked a first for the company. Young people were approached directly on the street, students were recruited from local arts colleges, and a call even went out on local radio for people to get involved as the media picked up on the story.

Creative Director Diane Gates explained: “Flash mobs are a really fun idea. When we texted everyone the night before we had no idea whether or not anyone would turn up, but people really made the effort, particularly impressive since it was at 9am! People were intrigued by what we were doing, and it’s a fantastic way to not only kick-start interest in Enterprise Week, but also demonstrate exactly what it’s all about - taking an idea and being as creative as you can with it.

Steven Angus, 20, from Newcastle College explained why he took part in the flash mob: “As a student I’m used to being targeted in ad campaigns, and I thought it would be fun to take part in one for a change. It was great fun coming together with loads of other random people in one place and running up and down together - it must’ve looked mad for people watching!

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