Elton John hit all the right headlines yesterday in time for the release of his new album ‘Wonderful Crazy night’. However with Sir Elton’s piano practice at St Pancras Station spontaneity seems to the be the hardest word. From the Guardian to the Evening Standard, the papers dutifully danced to the tune of a generic press release. The location itself is by now an established platform for memorialisation our cultural titans. With tributes to Betjeman, Harry Potter’s Nine and Three quarters and now Sir Elton’s Yamaha there’s barely any room left for a functioning train station. The only variable that was beyond the control of Sir Elton’s stunt managers was the social media life of the event beyond the carefully choreographed crowd of onlookers (some even made up to resemble real people). The concert received over 1000 tweets yet none mentioned the album. At 68 years and now having released 33 studio albums it really does seem like a missed opportunity for the unquantifiably famous Sir Elton. Not one tweet or Instagram (aside EltonJohn himself) mentioned his album. Whilst the coverage achieved is praiseworthy and to be expected for such a star gifting a piano to the public, it appears to have had very little traction on promoting his music. This was an opportunity for a hashtag to go viral and it didn’t. The stunt was purely collateral.
On the opposite corner of London a flash mob of nobodies dressed up as Mario Kart figures and decorated with GoPros stormed the Westfield centre to play a life-size game of Mario Kart. They made it past security, down the main mall, into the lift, through the car park, into their getaway car where they were stopped by police and we see no more. This received 1.3m hits within a day and just shy of 24k shares. Since then it has appeared on ITV London news and in TIME, generating more hits by the minute. Sir Elton may be still standing but his PR strategy need to move on fast.