Any fans of the 80s TV show Fame? Man o man did I love that show when I was a kid. Just the idea that you could miss class because the whole school was immersed in a song-and-dance routine thoughout the halls was enough for me to want to attend. “Sorry, teacher, I couldn’t make it on time; Danny just dumped Julie and she wasn’t sure she could get through her audition this afternoon, so we had to sing and dance her confidence back.”
Well, lastminute.com has created a hilarious viral video called “Unexpected Performance” that harks back to the “spontaneous” song-and-dance (much like ImrovEverywhere’s Food Court Musical).
The vid was filmed at a London airport where seven hidden cameras brilliantly capture the unsuspecting crowd’s reactions when a member of the cleaning crew breaks into song about her desire for crisps (US translation: potato chips). One by one, she is joined by other pitch-perfect singers and dancers and suddenly, folks have their own Broadway-style show smack in the middle of the terminal. It’s sort of like a well-organized flash mob (remember those), but with talented participants. The vid finishes with a sign asking: “When is the last time you went to the theatre?” And, another explaining: “Get 50% off theatre tickets at lastminute.com.”
Now, this really is more advertising than a full-on viral campaign, but I can’t resist talking about it here because it fits all the key necessities of a good viral video.
Transparency. Right from the start, it sets things up by announcing the hidden cameras, the “undercover” actors and an “unexpected performance.” And, of course, by the time you see the closing, you get the whole point of the ad. Nobody is trying to pretend it’s real.
Compelling Content. The performances are good and the crowd’s confused reactions are priceless.
It’s relevant to the brand. The whole video is completely relevant. The song sounds like something you’d hear on Broadway; the crowd is fun to watch; the performance makes sense once you see the marketing message; and if I were heading to NYC and saw this in the airport with that 50% off tag, I’d definitely check out lastminute.com to see what’s showing.
It’s generating buzz. As of this writing 170,662 people have watched it and are discussing it on YouTube. And, bloggers like me sure are talking about it.
So, this is a great example of a good viral video. Simple. Compelling. Transparent. Relevant.
If there is more to follow (i.e. sites, rabbit holes, easter eggs, and additional vids), then I’d officially call it a viral marketing campaign. But, even as a stand-alone ad-vid, it works. So, well done lastminute.com. You won my business.