Today we learned about pseudo-events in our PR class. We started our discussion with the flash mob that happened yesterday right here in Winnipeg at Polo Park Shopping Centre.
A pseudo-event that caught my attention in Winnipeg was the Zombie Walk.
In October 2010 hundreds of people dressed up as zombies gathered in the parking lot of the Royal Albert Arms Hotel for the 4th annual Winnipeg Zombie Walk.
The zombies walked through downtown Winnipeg in support of Winnipeg Harvest.
This event had a lot of elements that attracted both the media to cover the event and for people to participate in it.
First of all, the Zombie Walk event was on Facebook, a great place to promote an event and estimate how many people may attend for organizers. The week of the event, the Zombie Walk had 2,800 people confirmed. Even though I never saw any official Zombie Walk promotion from Winnipeg Harvest, I do remember the Facebook group and event and pictures people had posted on their personal profiles.
The event was also held around Halloween when people are more likely to dress up and feeling the zombie vibe.
The event used the identification principle or the “what’s in it for me” principle to entice participants by having local hip-hop band Filthy Animals shoot their music video at the walk providing participants a chance to be caught on film and included in the video.
The event also encouraged people to dress up and lurk around downtown and promoted the Winnipeg Harvest by offering a photo taken and printed on the spot in one’s zombie getup in exchange for a non-perishable food item donation to Winnipeg Harvest.
The event ended with an after party at the Royal Albert with musical entertainment.
This event looked to be successful because it was reported on by the Winnipeg Free Press and and raised awareness and donations for the Winnipeg Harvest through a fun and interactive event.
However, there were some negative comments on the event in the comments section of the Winnipeg Free Press about the mess leftover from the event and rude zombies holding up traffic by walking through streets and blocking cars.