The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 15 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Howzat! Flash of cricket frenzy

- IIM’s surprise promotional googly leaves capital with eyes & mouth wide open

Flashmob: a large group of people who arrange (by mobile/cell phone or email) to gather together in a public place at exactly the same time, spend a short time doing something there and then quickly all leave at the same time

Around 3.15pm on Monday, over 100 jeans-clad boys and girls suddenly got off three cars and 50 bikes near one of Ranchi’s prime hangouts, rushed towards their friend in a wheelchair holding aloft a Tricolour, danced to Chak De! India, sprinkled pink abir everywhere and zoomed off.

IIM-Ranchi students, who put up this breathless 10-minute act near Hari Om Tower, were gifting the capital arguably its first-ever flashmob — all to promote the city’s maiden ODI between India and England on January 19.

Kya nukkad natak hoga yahan (Will they host a street play)?” wondered a middle-aged bystander, Rajib Kumar. When told it was a flashmob, he shook his head in wonder. “Never heard of it before,” he said.

GeNext can fill in Kumar and others like him.

A flashmob — just log on to YouTube for a demo — is something that youngsters across the world know as well as the gangnam or the wave. It’s a traffic-stopper of an event staged in a public space by groups who first spread the word through social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Then, at the appointed time, they gather in one place, do their bit and disperse in a matter of minutes.

IIM-Ranchi students, hosting the event with the permission of Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA), had also roped in two vehicle sponsors — motorcycle giant Hero Motocorp and local car dealer Premson Motors — to rev up the Monday mania.

With two flashmob stopovers on the way, over 100 B-school students took out in a 15km roadshow on three cars and 50 bikes from the IIM-Ranchi campus behind Raj Bhavan to the international cricket stadium in Dhurwa.

Starting from the IIM campus, the students first went to Morabadi grounds where they offered floral tribute to the Mahatma’s statue.

Then, the Hari Om Tower caper over, they stopped 2.5km away at Main Road for another flashmob jig.

It certainly kept the flashbulbs happy. Students said the event was the outcome of some high-octane brainstorming between IIM-Ranchi students and JSCA.

Some of the best brains of the premier B-school had bounced ideas with JSCA president Amitabh Chaudhary last month on promotional events to excite the youth. It was then that events such as flashmobs, online quiz with free ticket a day and viral promotions were decided.

Ranchi is still blinking from the impact.

Do you want to take part in a flashmob for a campaign?