IT must have been tempting for many of the 120,000 members of the public were invited to attend the Olympic opening ceremony rehearsals to spoil Danny Boyle’s surprise extravaganza.
We know that some tried, but Huntingdonshire security specialists The Security Company, from Upper Dean, have explained how the spoilsports were foiled.
“Contrary to popular belief, it appears that people can indeed show restraint when it comes to sharing,” said communications specialist Hannah Tufts.
“An Olympic volunteer suggested the use of hashtag #savethesurprise to mediate the urge to share details and images of what was revealed during the rehearsals. Before long this was trending worldwide on Twitter, and gave rise to an online community who collaborated among themselves to maintain the secret.
“Anyone who risked leaking too much of the detail was quickly reprimanded by fellow users.”
She added: “Embracing social media proved an effective means of influencing behaviour on this occasion, illustrating the benefits of using this channel as an integral part of any campaign that aims to change people’s attitudes and actions,” she added.
“Exclusivity works well as an incentive: it’s human instinct to want to be the first to know.
“Communication is at the core of society. Digital networks just bring your key influencers a lot closer and spread the message a lot faster. Therefore it’s hugely important to tailor your message to the channel you choose to deliver it.
“Get it right, and you’re likely to find it’s possible to use a tool with a high risk legacy to inspire the right kind of measured behaviour online.”