The short- but oh so drawn out - life of the Flash Mob is a sorry tale. What was at first a brillant counterculture artistic statement quickly became one of the most despised mediums within the advertising industry. A handful of brands make them work, however the majority leave a bad viral taste in the mouth.
That said Improv Everywhere - the originators of the Central Station flash mob (before everyone copied it) - have managed to make them interesting again by taking modern iconic films and replicating parts of them in odd placements, such as Star Wars on a subway train or Ghostbusters in a very hushed Library.
There's something truly entertaining about these set pieces. Rather than performing a Glee-style sing-a-long or badly choreographed dance routine, Improv Everywhere opt for theatre. These short staged cinema reenactments lean much more towards entertainment than other self gratifying flash mobs, leaving the surrounding audience felling as if they have stumbled into a film or an urban role playing game.
It's possible we'll see more of these 'Parody Mobs', particularly with the rise in dress up Secret Cinema. If you suddenly see lots of Ewoks running amok on the 5:30 from Luton, or the battle for Hoth unfolding in the freezer section of ASDA, let us know.