Seven days ago, TNT’s belgium channel released a (very) viral video to explain what it pretends to do for the viewers ; Bring Drama to their lives:

Today I picked this example because we all recall an example of this type of live commercial, or “flashmob”. They did a lot of singing in the metro, singing at the airport, dancing on a square… Personally, I was into it when the major concern were the “space intervention”.
As an artist, I had the opportunity to explore space intervention, public art installations and the relationship between the “viewer” or visitor and the “narrator” of this particular space. One of my favorite is the ImprovEverywhere‘s “frozen grand central” , because it was simple, efficient, clear, and because it invited people to question their behavior, what art is basically about, in my opinion. I loved it also because it’s “commando”, short and context-less. Other than the place’s context of course, which is more than enough to tell a story. What happens at 0:37 is the holy Graal of art intervention:

My counter example would be The T-Mobile “Welcome Back” experience at the airport. It’s definitly encountered great succes (11 millions views in 18 months of time), and played on a very different level, the emotion to be back, welcomed back, re-united etc… I personally find it invasive, clumsy and loud. Only my opinion though.
My worst moment? the screenshot just underneath, @ 2:20, when actors are on one side, and regular people on the other, half scared, half deaf. They’re filming it alright, which add to my feeling of “artificialness”.

Creating the suprise is always a factor. Phoenix Concert @ Madison Square Garden on October 20 is a great example. Phoenix is a French band, that did a big gig in the Madison square garden, and at the very end of the concert, friends of the band and famous electronic duo “Daft Punks” showed up and marked the audience for their entire life. Just hear the screaming @ 4:20 . Song starts @ 6:20

Another example is the Dre & Snoop Dogg “Tupac” hologram experience at Coachella’s Festival, wich I find almost disturbing. We really end up thinking the dead rapper is singing two songs with his ex-accomplices. Check @ 2:40. Awkward.

My conclusion would be, that obviously, public spacial intervention is a great way to mark spirit. Flashmobs, dead people’s Hologram, it’s always about context, both emotional and spatial. Making everyday’s life a show can be risky, because it takes a good understanding of the context, and a big amount of creativity to connect the situation with the narrative. TNT did this well, by realizing every action movie fan’s secret dream : to get involved in the craziest action movie scene, for real. + 24 Millions views in 7 days. Not bad, uh ?