Multilingual Business Communication

March 26, 2009

VTM surprises commuters at Antwerp Central Station

Filed under: Liesbeth Van Den Mosselaer, marketing communication — Tags: , — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 7:21 pm

The first step of all marketing media is to get noticed. This marketing rule was taken to heart by the Flemish commercial television station VTM. To announce their newest reality television program “Op zoek naar Maria”, in which they want to find an actress to play the leading role in the musical version of The Sound of Music, they surprised the commuters at the Central Station in Antwerp.

On Monday morning 200 dancers infiltrated amongst the travellers in the central hall of the station. When a modern version of The Sound of Music hit “Do Re Mi” came through the speakers, a couple of them started to dance to the music. Gradually, more and more dancers, disguised as commuters, joined them until the entire hall was packed with a dancing crowd.

The stunt was a great success: apart from the commuters who witnessed the spectacle live in Antwerp, the videos on Youtube have already been viewed over 30.000 times.

A couple of months ago T-mobile launched a campaign with a similar stunt in the Liverpool Street Station in London. Could this be the beginning of a new advertising trend?

You can watch both stunts yourselves and decide which one you like best on: and



  1. I must say that I believe this stunt of VMMA was very effective. Especially because the dancers were ‘disguised’ as commuters, so it was very unexpected. I do want to add that I hope this will not be the beginning of a whole ‘new advertising trend’ as you ask yourself in your post. I think that if this will be the case, a stunt like this will not be special anymore. I believe that the uniqueness of this stunt makes it so attractive. So I think that VMMA has done something very effective here, that gave them a lot of free publicity. And we cannot deny: that is probably the most important thing that they wanted to achieve, so all I can say is: mission accomplished! (Anja Peleman)

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — March 27, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  2. Another form of free mass publicity is the ‘freeze’. This entails that a bunch of people disguised as regular commuters/citizens/tourists suddenly freeze at a certain time and stay frozen for about 5 minutes. Afterwards they all pick-up where they left off and pretend nothing happened. For people walking in between the frozen crowd this is of course a very strange experience and grabs all the attention needed to convey a subtle message to the surrounding crowd. Here’s an example of Christians using the freeze technic in Brussels to convey a message about Jesus:

    Comment by Aisling van Vliet — April 2, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  3. I really enjoyed the stunt as well. It just makes me feel really happy. I think it’s very well done as well. Of course, the choreography is directed by Frank Van Laecke, a leading man in the business. He started out as a writer for successful tv shows such as FC De Kampioenen. Afterwards he started to dedicate himself more and more to directing musicals and great plays, for example My Fair Lady, The King and I and recently, Daens. Knowing all this, it is of course to be expected that such a short dance is very well done as well. But nevertheless, extremely effective and heartwarming.

    Comment by Dorien — April 9, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

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