Posts tagged “Blu-Dot”

Trash talk

I posted a few months ago on on design studio Blu Dot’s New York leave-behind/Big Brother-is-watching-you (and wants to know what you did with that chair) marketing campaign.

For anyone interested in the aftermath, Rob Walker’s latest Consumed column in the New York Times includes a few anecdotes about what happened to the Blu Dot chairs that were the campaign’s focus, and some interesting backstory from Mono, the marketing agency that put the whole performance piece/stunt/campaign together.

The unholy child of anthropology and marketing? Or a great idea…or both?

Michael Cannell posted yesterday at Fast Company on design firm Blu-Dot’s fascinating new campaign, in which they are going to give away chairs by leaving them on the streets of New York, and then use GPS embedded in the chairs to track them down. According to Michael Hart of Mono, the ad firm that developed the idea with Blu-Dot:

If all goes according to plan, the video crew will use the GPS to find the chairs a few months from now. They’ll knock on doors and interview the owners–homeless people, Apartment Therapy readers, whoever they turn out to be–about why they took the chairs and how they use them. “Where does great design end up in New York? What sort of a person invites these chairs into their homes?”

Wow – there are so many layers to this. The brilliant experimental marketing layer, the Big Brother-ish invasion of privacy layer, the genius “guaranteed-to-get-talked-and-written-about” PR layer, the “no-marketing-message-included” layer reminiscent of “no-brand” brand Muji, the Chris Anderson “free” layer, and finally, the anthropological, archeological, design research find-out-where-the-chairs-go layer, which in and of itself would be a great conceptual art project or social experiment.

This project–what do you even call it? Is it a project, a campaign, an experiment?–really takes the openness and creative potential of contemporary marketing and runs with it.


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