This has been knocking around for the last week on the twittersphere, spreading like wildfire through the marketing/creative community and rightly so. I first became aware of this via BBH Labs. They simply redirected me to the suitably comprehensive website usbchainsaw.com – A simple idea really, why not have a chainsaw (no bigger than the size of your laptop keyboard) powered by USB? Well why not? I’m all for carrying around heavy machinery like this in my backpack, surely it’s the only accessory that a marketing professional would need? Frankly I was hooked. But that’s not the whole story.
As BBH labs explain in their (even better) explanation, the idea came from BBH Asia Pacific, inspired (read; frustrated) by the torrent of wasteful paper that accumulated around the office and they wanted to do something about it. Papercut was the result.
Papercut is a downloadable app that once installed, makes the sound of the buzzing iSaw when a document is printed, the sound is there to encourages people to print less, therefore saving more trees, and therefore decreasing the sounds of buzzsaws echoing from forests around the world. The iSaw then is the equally imaginative response to the papercut app. As opposed to creating a traditional viral campaign, the creative team built the chainsaw itself, and set up a classic (in 2.0 style) infomercial, the level of detail that has gone into this visual representation means the whole concept has an authenticity and stickiness that reaches far beyond it’s initial aims. It’s one of the best pieces of marketing of the year so far. Check it out
And yes, the app does work, to the sound of gnashing teeth everywhere