PSFK, an innovation powerhouse, challenged advertising and design agencies to develop creative ways to raise funds for UNICEF‘s various causes using Microsoft Tags – barcodes that you scan with your smart phone which lead you directly to a website. This website is connected to a server, which means the data can change regularly.
Today is International Women’s Day, and participants Matt Resnick and Zachary Blank devoted their project proposal to raising money and awareness for the fight against the dehumanization and subjugation of young women. They came up with a proposal to place Microsoft Tags on a clothing line called i.object. Their project made the shortlist of finalists, and the winner of the challenge will be announced at South By Southwest next week.
Resnick and Blank were personally interested in raising awareness for this issue. “It seems harder to monetize and raise awareness for the objectification of women compared to other things, and we wanted to challenge ourselves,” said Resnick.
The pair has proposed a number of simple clothing items as part of the i.object line. Each product would have a personalized Microsoft Tag on it. From then on, any i.object item of clothing you buy would have your Tag on the label. The Tags are read through an app on your smart phone. After you scan the Tag with your phone, you would be directed to a personalized website that would contain real time information on your personal impact on the fundraising effort. “We want [the site] to have an influence tree. If I’m the first person to use a Tag, I want to see how much I raised,” said Resnick.
The idea is that the site would help you visualize how many people were influenced by your i.object purchase, where they are located, and how the movement is spreading. “Every i.object product is a physical manifestation of the wearer’s advocacy, and the Microsoft Tag allows anyone to tangibly gauge the effect that the wearer’s advocacy has on others. You’re not just going to go out wearing an i.object product and silently show that you care; the Tag motivates interaction – the more people that Tag you, the more people see your contribution, the more they’re motivated to contribute themselves, or buy their own i.object products, and the cycle continues. As the branches spread, every user can see each dollar they’ve helped raise,” said Resnick.