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Interactive Annual 17:

Shocking Barack

Launch Live Site

“A hopeful mix of documentary, social networking, green energy and grassroots politics.”
—Véronique Brossier

“A very clever campaign and one that allowed the community and site visitors to not only follow this story but be a part of it. ”
—Adrian Belina

Overview: The Brammo Enertia was the first freeway-legal, 100-percent, electric production motorcycle but the company that builds them was new, with zero awareness and no media budget. The strategy was to create a social media campaign that generated enough PR to launch the brand; the hub of the campaign was this blog site. In November 2008, the U.S. automotive industry was in a state of disrepair; nothing underscored this fact more than when the Big Three automotive CEOs traveled from Detroit to DC to ask for multi-billion dollar bailouts—each flying in a private plane. Brammo retraced the route on their motorcycles for nothing more than $5 in electricity and the kindness of fellow Americans. Created and uploaded through Posterous, the blog served as the foundation of a real-time, integrated effort consisting exclusively of social media. Designed to unfold, and be broadcast, in real-time, the project would have failed without audience participation.

  • • Pre-trip preparation was key: The site went live prior to the trip and the intention to deliver a bike to Obama was announced as were requests for political contacts, places to sleep and outlets to recharge.
  • • The bikes were equipped with GPS with their locations continuously uploaded to a real-time map so people could follow their progress live.
  • • An online petition let supporters provide an electronic signature that was physically transferred to the bikes along the way.

Comments by Chad Lynch

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “Aside from the unrehearsed, real-time nature of the execution, Brammo had no advertising budget, so the PR generated by this ride was not a luxury; it was a matter of the company succeeding or failing. The 700-mile ride was literally a new form of live advertising—one where content was created, produced, edited and published in real-time—enabling our itinerary to be fully crowd-sourced. The route was constantly adapting to coincide with offers of electrical outlets, food and places to sleep.”

Was there an unexpected outcome of the campaign? “In just over two weeks, we launched and established an unknown brand with no media or advertising budget. We received coverage from over 150 news organizations, including the Associated Press, MSNBC and the New York Times. In all, the campaign generated an estimated 17.2 million media impressions valued at over $1,000,000. As a result of media buzz and public support, Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher was invited to the White House on October 28, 2009 to meet with U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and secured an exclusive distribution deal with Best Buy—initially rolling out its electric cycles in the chain’s West Coast locations, with plans to expand nationwide.”


Justin Smith, senior art director
Chad Lynch, writer
Shashank Raval, user experience designer
Jeff Teicher/Matt Walsh, user experience directors
Dayoung Ewart/Patrick Maravilla, associate creative directors
Alex Burnard/Dave Schiff, creative directors
Jeff Benjamin/Andrew Keller/Rob Reilly, chief creative officers
Bill Burley/Ken Goldfarb/Laura Nichols, interactive developers
Winston Binch, interaction director
Scott Prindle, interactive technical director
Michael Gersten, editor
Steve Capstick, director
Eddie Alonso, music
Stephen Clark/Idalia Deshon, integrated producers
Madison Wharton, senior integrated producer
Ryan Moreno, executive agency producer
Dave Rolfe, integrated production director
Crispin Porter + Bogusky (Boulder, CO), project design and development
Brammo, Inc., client

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