Computing and sustainability in billboard mash-up

Posted on October 30, 2008


Today I have been inundated with evidence of the power of computing and its relevance to sustainability. It seems that everyone I know has found the Green’s “make your own Vote for Me billboard“. This is brilliant viral marketing that engages you with their brand message. It seems the very act of looking through your photo library is a commitment to voting for them – engagement on quite a deep level.

Much like my thoughts on Te Papa’s wall, it is the combined narrative that fascinates the most. Almost without exception the user-submitted images on the site are strong and clearly consistent with the message. Right now there’s 104 images. Here’s a quick break down of them (this doesn’t add up, some things are in more than one category).

Landscapes: easily biggest grouping, more than half. Mountains and glaciers, forests, seascapes. People actively engaged in landscape (ie more than grass in background) in about 60% of total gallery. Slightly more images of adults than children.

People not in landscape make up about 20% of images. More than half childrens’ faces. A few families and couples.

Fifteen percent show animals, mostly NZ natives (birds, lizards and a whale). A few pets. One rhinoceros.

Just under ten percent show other sustainability icons: windfarms, food, public transport. One shows rubbish (either an attempt at humour or a “don’t for vote me”).

I think my hunch was right about people engaging in this on a deeper level. Only about five images taken at student parties wouldn’t be described as well formed images and/or could really be described as green. Barack Obama and a couple in front of the US capitol seem to have found their way to the wrong election.

For the vast majority it really looks as though people are looking at through their images and putting up images they are proud of that show alignment with the party message.  The green “vote for me” strapline and imagery is very powerful.  This computer based extension helps people to build a personal affinity.  Brilliant.