Monday, December 7, 2009

This Is Not a Chair

I am a big fan of pulling objects out of people's trash cans. I've been known to pick up a life-sized plastic Santa or a pool ladder on my morning run, and evidently I'm not alone. Blu Dot, the modern furniture design studio, capitalized on trash-picker mentality in their new marketing ploy. The concept, detailed in yesterday's New York Times, is genius: In random locations all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, leave chairs fitted with hidden GPS monitors and track where they wind up. Cute hipsters from all parts of the city picked up the Good chair for free, which normally retails for $129, only to discover that they had been the target of a sales pitch.
I'm not sure about this new type of product placement. Part of me loves the conceptual end of it, as I was incredibly curious about who picked up the chairs and where they went. But another part of me wonders where this technique might lead. True, we've all grown accustomed to pop up ads, telemarketers, and movie product placement, but tracking a product's physical movements strikes me as a bit too invasive. But it is a nice chair, so if I saw it in the trash on my morning run, I'm certain I'd jog off with one too.

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