Monday, August 19, 2013

Nike Chalkbot’s Predecessor: The 1895 Tricycle Printing...

Nike Chalkbot’s Predecessor: The 1895 Tricycle Printing Press

It’s too bad there were no ad awards handed out at the turn of the 19th century. It turns out Wieden & Kennedy’s award-winning stunt for Nike Livestrong — the “Chalkbot” — has a predecessor.

Gizmodo dug up some interesting details about a guerrilla marketing method dating back to 1895. The “tricycle printing press” was driven around the streets of Paris that fed ink onto the rear wheels, creating printed ads on the road. It was the hottest ad stunt of its time — but it reminds us a lot of a modern ad stunt too.

Fast forward 114 years later to the Tour de France, where Nike teamed up with cyclist Lance Armstrong (pre-doping drama) to create a robot that let people all over the world chalk messages of inspiration directly onto the course of the French bicycle race, for the Livestrong Foundation.

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