(Thrill the World, San Francisco)
Trick or Thrill?
Earlier this year, Michael Jackson released Thriller 25, a 25th Anniversary reissue of the world's best selling album Thriller. Maybe Jackson needed to increase album sales to refinance Neverland Ranch, but this week his album inspired Thrill The World, the world's largest reenactment of the Thriller dance.
A few days ago, over 4,000 fans from ten different countries participated in Thrill the World, which broke the existing Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous participants of Thriller. From discussions on national radio shows to Thriller dance videos featured on ESPN, Thrill the World created substantial free PR for Jackson and the commemorative album.
The abundance of free press highlights the importance of adding planned shock to future marketing campaigns. News outlets are constantly searching for timely stories that are unique and unprecedented. Thrill the World's timely occurrence during the week of Halloween and it's attempt to break a world record, created an event that was worth discussing and sharing.
In our participatory culture, marketing campaigns that encourage interaction and shockingly inspire diverse audiences will be the successful campaigns of tomorrow.