Sears Promotes its Chef Challenge with a Flash Mob - Event Marketer

Sears Promotes its Chef Challenge with a Flash Mob

Brand: SEARS
Year: 2011

In July, Sears organized a flash mob at Chicago’s Navy Pier to drive consumer interest in its Sears Chef Challenge cooking competition, a series of events held at the brand’s Kenmore Live Studio pop-up shop. The flash mob routine incorporated Sears kitchenware like pots, pans and spatulas into the choreography.

As the dancers tore off their shirts and jackets, they revealed branded blue t-shirts with a QR code on the back, which consumers could scan with their phones for more information. Many passersby were inspired to shoot videos and photos that, once posted online, extended the reach of the event. But the surprise dance routine wasn’t the campaign’s only word-of-mouth tool. Live-stream video technology was used at the Chef Challenge to extend its reach and provide a way for the online community to participate in the event.

The video was streamed live on the Sears Chef Challenge website and other social media outlets as well as plasma screens flanking the outside of the studio. It was later edited down and broadcast on 1,000 websites during a three-week ad buy. Attendees also used Foursquare to check-in to the flash mob and the Chef Challenge. There were so many check-ins that the Sears flash mob received the Foursquare “swarm badge” for creating an event where more than 50 people checked in.

Although just 162 people attended the live event, 15,000 viewers tuned in via Ustream. Sears also received Tweets from viewers as far away as Los Angeles and Paris.

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