Ad agency Vitro and sneaker brand Asics are notorious for their New York City Marathon marketing, whether it is offering people the opportunity to race against a virtual Ryan Hall in the subways or daring people to remain upright on the treadmill from hades.
But the collaboration out did themselves in 2014 by making miniature statues of the runners they love to pay homage to. The team asked everyone who entered the marathon to send in 2-D front and side headshots, but they only took the first 500 runners who entered. Then they hired a team of artists to turn the 2-D images into printable 3-D files, creating small yet life-like statues for each runner.
Vitro photographed each statue in three different landmark locations along the course. Then its digital team linked the photos with each runner's Facebook account and his or her RFID race timing and tracking chip. So, when the runner passed each landmark in real life, a photo of the mini-marathoner statue passing that same landmark auto-posted to the runner's Facebook account in real time—providing mid-race updates to family and friends.
However, the 500 statues cap left a lot of runners out. So in addition, Vitro held a Twitter marathon and encouraged all runners in the race to participate. Any tweet on the runner’s behalf advanced them along a virtual marathon course. The first 50 runners to finish the digital race were able to have statues made as well.
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