IT’S ABOUT YOU (AND THE CHALKBOT).
Via Brian Morrissey’s blog I found out about this fantastic idea from Nike and Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation. It’s a great example of digital media and physical experience meeting. Creating an idea that is viral yet has a permanence to it, namely in the form of chalk messages sprayed onto the road in front of the cyclists during the Tour De FranceIt turns that throughout the history of the Tour De France, the spectators have taken to writing messages of encouragement for the riders.
Taking this viral (via the huge interest generated in Lance Armstrong’s return to professional cycling) to the masses online. People can upload messages 140 characters or less (of course) or text their messages of encouragement, hope and determination. These are then aggregated through the website. The chosen messages are then relayed to a computer that is attached to road painting machine called the ‘Chalkbot’ – it sprays the messages on the road, with the message being photographed and sent to the original author. Nike reckons it might do 100,000 messages over the duration of the tour. (Chalkbot has also been seen at other cycling events in the lead up to Armstrong’s comeback) That’s a hell of alot of encouragement. It’s novel, authentic in it’s inspiration and is shows how great digital work can transcend traditional boundries.