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The Day The Mob Saved Vegas

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 28th December 2009 4:34pm
  » filed under The Internets  comments: 2

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We spend a lot of time pointing out how completely boobish, borderline insulting or pathologically useless the majority of Las Vegas casino marketing is. One would think that throwing social media into the mix would've helped things... but no. Re-tweeting the intern who tweets for Regis and Kelly? 37 posts of #FF? Botched Facebook contests? Email offers chock full of insanely shady mathematics? Gargling the #spooj of self-appointed #Vegas marketing #TwiTards with sky high piles of overpriced anyways comp'd ice cream? Anyone spare a @Rolaids?

Watch and learn how real interactive marketing works, kids.

Planet Hollywood conspired with YouTube personality Shay Carl and the MIDIMafia to produce the Phamous Planet Hollywood Flash Mob video below. It was filmed on November 28th, 2009 at 7:07pm with six hand held Flip HD cameras and four (?) HD cameras placed strategically around the casino floor. It was posted to the YouTube and announced via @phvegas simultaneously two days later.

Any true viral video can be measured by how many of your friends send it to you. Other than the expected mailings from VT readers and my usual cadre of Vegas loving friends this video was sent to me by a *nix hacker friend of mine earlier today. He goes to Vegas once a year for one reason and one reason only: DefCon. The note attached to his message speaks eloquently and succinctly to the Phamous mob's brilliance:

I wish I could've been there.

Based on statistics alone, he's not the only one.

As of this writing - 30 days after it was posted - the PHamous Planet Hollywood Flash Mob video has garnered 1.2 million views (avg: 40k/day), 30,000 ratings (avg: 5 stars, 1k/day), garnered 10,500 comments on The YouTube. Phurthermore, the incredibly catchy audio track "PHamous" by Midi Mafia, has been downloaded tens of thousands of times and garnered 67 ratings on iTunes (avg: 5 stars).

But why is this so successful? A synergistic component of Planet Hollywood's newish to casinos brand, Shay Carl's following and a catchy tune by MIDIMafia, ten pin pricked into the skin of our culture via the multi-headed communication device known as social media? As method, yes, content, no.

I'll opine that it is the mating of improvisation and spotlight magnetism wherein the tornado of fantasy can - and will - magically envelop and transport us to a place where we don't just watch the show... we are the show. It is this very same juice that fuels the fun at a craps table.

Facts, figures, testimonials and enticements all have their place in a fully functional marketing campaign. This... 'thing' is certifiably bar raising, game changing, knock out punch which demonstrates infinitely more inquisitive inventiveness than... say... buying a slot on Twitter's suggested follower list.

All the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players, performers and portrayers. Each another's audience outside the gilded cage" - 'Limelight' by Rush



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Comments & Discussion:

PhVegas really does a great job!

When a friend sent me this link, it was immediately obvious the "PHlash mob" was a marketing contrivance. And yet, instead of immediately tuning out, I watched. The fact is, the people in the video clearly seem to be having a good time, and I found myself wanting to have a good time, too. Hats off to PHo, it was a brilliant move.

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