July 27, 2012

Is It Marketing Innovation? The Bird Poop Edition

Today’s topic is actually simple: when a company uses an infographic to engage their audience via new media (in this case, Twitter), does it count as innovation?

One ad man, Clayton Hove, is a witty guy for all intents and the purposes of his Twitter stream.  In his flip and nonchalant air, he tweeted:  “Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totaled it.” Well, the very smart folks at Razorfish got behind a response: “Couldn’t have been one bird, @adtothebone.  Sounds more like 4.5 million. (Seriously, we did the math.)”  Simply a fun exchange, except when it is used to prove a point with the infographic below depicting exactly how many of various sized birds, and their concomitant waste it would take to total a Smart Car.  It went on to include lovely product features etc.  And it surely was viewed, read, reviewed and tweeted like the viral storm such hilarity deserves.

BUT, does it meet all the criteria for innovation?

  • the application of a new idea, method, device or construct
  • delivers shared value to those who create and those who consume it.
  • It is not based on an instance but offers some level of sustainability over a period of time.  It has some durability
  • It is not invention – but its application to solving a particular problem or enabling a new use.
  • It disrupts the current way of doing things sufficiently to create new categories, markets, products and interactions

Give us your opinion:  can an infographic be innovation?