A Swoosh To Slide

The best thing to do for a lost village somewhere down a polluted river on the country-side of the United States is to build a hugh lava lamp. This is what marketing guru Seth Godin claimed in his TED speech back in 2007 when he explained the Purple Cow effect and the power of being extremely remarkable.

Over the last month we wrote a bunch of articles on marketing actions/interventions in public space and about brands taking over the city while investing in it. When looking at this proposal for a giant Nike advertisement the question rises if a government and a company can actually work together in creating purple cows. According to ACCESS, the agency behind this pretty megalomanic idea, this campaign will go viral because “people love it”. An offline experience will be posted online be thousands of users filming it, taking pictures of it and sharing it on social networks. Also bloggers will write about it says Bill Tikos, founder of ACCESS and of the Cool Hunter. From his cool-hunting practice he claims that he knows how the world of blogging works and I prove he is right while writing this piece.

From an ideological point of view others will consider an enormous Nike swoosh in public space obscene. The discussion whether this is a good idea or not is intense and of course it is a rather unstable equilibrium to balance on. I would say a giant swoosh in Central Park is obscene — it pretty much ruins the park experience while it contributes to nothing but Nike’s exposure. However, I must agree that I like the slide. As soon as a company likes to invest in such a piece of public furniture, it can have its name on it. Do we agree?