Meetup, a Web site that gives people the tools to organize and form communities, met up with The Huffington Post to distribute 500,000 nametags at last Tuesday's presidential inauguration in a campaign to elevate the level of discourse above an awkward "What's your party affiliation, baby?" or "Hey, come to the Washington Monument often?"
The goal was to break the ice in a crowd of chilly strangers and turn them into a community. "Two million people were there all for the same reason—to celebrate," says Sam Ewen, founder/CEO of Interference Inc., the New York creative agency that developed and executed the stunt. "We figured they were going to have all of this downtime—three, four, five hours of waiting—so why not get involved with each other? Why not look at the person next to you and know their name and where they're from?"
People were given up to five stickers and encouraged to hand out the other four to people they didn't know. The "Hello my name is _____" stickers contained minimal Meetup messaging. Back panels contained small Meetup and HuffPo logos, along with a four-step "Be like Barack" community organizing plan.
Interference had about 180 people on site executing the stunt, and half a million stickers were dispersed in six and a half hours. Since street traffic was shut off from Monday on, trucks of stickers had to be driven in two days early and kept in the yards of strategically located people contacted through Craigslist.
—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp