This is marketing genius. Fashion designer/entrepreneur/pop culture maven Marc Ecko, the man who brought us the tagging viral of air force one, has surpassed himself with his latest marketing venture.
'He bid and won Barry Bond's 756th (it's a new record) home run baseball in an online auction costing him $752,467 and now Ecko is giving the American public the chance to decide what to do with it. He has given them three choices and is now at the centre of the biggest sports debate ever.
"I bought this baseball to democratize the debate over what to do with it," Ecko said. "The idea that some of the best athletes in the country are forced to decide between being competitive and staying natural is troubling."
Visitors to Vote756.com can choose between three options:
1. "BESTOW IT" (as is into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown)
2. "BRAND IT" (with an asterisk before delivering it to the Hall)
3. "BANISH IT" (by sending it into outer space on a rocketship, never to be seen or heard from again)
Every major sports media outlet in the States is reporting this story and will continue to do so. Whatever the public chooses, Ecko will again make news by honouring the results of the vote.
He has successfully written himself into sports history using his bank account and his brain.'
I have to admit to quoting and plagarizing much of the great Fallon Planning blog for this piece but also Joe Jaffe who makes the point that Ecko 'is democratizing the conversation'. 'He talks about the "collective consciousness" (I think I call it the connected consciousness) and the alignment between his brand and what he stands for with this pop culture moment.'
The crucial point, as Crackunit and Fallon point out, is that 750K could have been spent on a conventional marketing campaign
but what Ekco has done is priceless in terms of marketing his brand. This is what we should all be doing with all these new forms of marketing. Finding opportunities to seminally reach your core demo audience in a way that
they actually care, join a form of communal storytelling, causing a mass debate across all platforms, spilling out into offline (WOM), compelling the public to interact in the final outcome.
or as Ed Cotton of Influx Insights puts it another way when discussing life beyond Consumer Generated Content 'The killer application is finding a way to tap into consumer thinking and creativity through the social network, but to do it in a way that doesn't involve classical advertising.'
This is Aleksei R. Stevens' Soundball and it's no ordinary soccer ball. 'It's embedded with a motion sensor that can detect being thrown, hit, kicked, and spun, then via Bluetooth sends the info to a computer that plays sounds and music that correspond to its movements. Stevens is a New York-based musician and teacher; the video below was shot at Sony Wonder Labs in NYC.' PSFK