The 30 million advert…

30,387,379 views on youtube that is.

The T-Mobile dance at London’s Liverpool Street station topped the number of views on youtube following a search for the word ‘advert’. Does this surprise me? Frankly no. Simply put, everyone enjoys watching a flash mob of good dancers and great songs startling a crowd of bored commuters and travellers, no doubt waiting for their delayed and overcrowded trains (I could not be called a fan of British trains). However, I also think this advert works on a much more complex and commercial level as a succesful representation of the brand’s values. As such, I will attempt to unravel, unpick and understand the success of this advert in more detail…

Given that T-Mobile’s slogan is “life is for sharing”, the advert effectively captured this. Passerbys share the bizarre experience of being caught in the middle of 300+ synchronised dancers, whilst viewers watching the ad share the experience of watching them. The advert is all about interaction and engaging with an audience, to generate a real, unexpected and emotive response from viewers.

The mobile phone is central to the advert. I counted at least 13 people using their phones and many more no doubt are standing in awe round the dance desperately attempting to record it, yes on their cameraphones, or calling, tweeting, emailing or texting their friends to tell them “you’ll never guess what but…” (all unsurprisingly on their phone). The advert responds to the fast sharing of information in the modern era, whilst conveying a fun and unique event that innovatively brightens even the bleakest of commuter days. To a cynical and hard-pushed consumer, T-Mobile has taken a decidedly less commercially-orientated stance as the advert is less about their unbelievable deals and amazing handsets but more about the experience of sharing and communication.

You wish you were there, and ergo you wish you were part of the “T-Mobile life experience”. If T-Mobile is doing great, unusual adverts like this, presumably their mobile service is just as good… Answer inconclusive. However, by creating a performance around their advert, T-Mobile generate buzz about their product- a word-of-mouth recommendation which makes T-Mobile distinguish itself from its competitors. The advert is memorable and due to that fact alone it can remain in the consumer’s mind as they shop for the mobile deals.

So is it a nae or a yay in my books… I am afraid I too got sucked in to this enticingly good-natured ad. The cool-looking guy with the afro getting gradually stuck in to the music was my viewer highlight. So that’s a 10/10 for Saatchi & Saatchi. With a further bonus mark awarded to the fact that this advert was aired only 48 hours after filming begun- an example of working with publicity to great effect and generally cheering up of one London’s most depressing stations. To reiterate the advert- “ENCORE”!


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