I know that this video is nothing new and that using a flash mob in advertising is commonplace, but when I came across this video while browsing videos today, I was reminded of the power of great content. Though the length of the video immediately gave me the urge to click the back button, I stayed and watched…
As I was watching, I was aware (as I am sure you were) that the performance was orchestrated, that it was simply a flashmob of the classical variety designed in hopes of gaining some digital traction and going viral. I knew that it was one hundred per cent, without a doubt, a staged performance. I did not care.
So, why did I find this video so engaging ?
It told a story. A story of a girl who dropped a coin in a musician’s hat, and got way more than she (or anyone) could have expected. As I watched, I constantly wanted to know where she was. Had she had moved? If so, where? The narrative was enhanced by the fact that I was experiencing the story from every possible point of view. It unfolded through the eyes of the girl, the crowd and the musicians, both as a group and individually.
It kept me guessing AND wanting more at the same time. As each new group of instruments joined, I became more and more engaged and throughout, I wondered what was going to happen next. What other instruments were waiting to chime in? Would there be singing? Wow, there’s even a conductor!
It plays the the emotions of the viewer. As the music progressed, I felt tears in my eyes as I saw the faces in the crowd light up, I felt my heart swell and I began to think about my own childhood…
This was a song that my mother sang to me [in German] when I was a kid, a song that I still hum/sing to myself on occasion, it has been and will continue to be the background music for both significant and insignificant moments in my my life. Of course, the likelihood that this song has meaning to any given viewer is high and that is why it was the perfect choice.
So, when you combine all of that, and everything works out just right, you get a piece of content that carves out a place in the viewer’s story and it becomes timeless. This video is now a part of my story. The next time I catch myself singing this song to myself, the next time I sing it to my niece, to my nephew or to anyone, you can bet that this video will be playing in my head.