About the Viral Waistcoat

The idea is simple.

Wear it, snap it, sign it, pass it on.

The aim is to make this waistcoat the most famous waistcoat on the planet.

Here is a talk I gave about the waistcoat at Interesting South:

What people say about it:

“The talk that interested me most was Russ Tucker’s review of his year-old “Viral Waistcoat” experiment.

What is the waistcoat?

QR code for Japanese 3G phones, that links them to the websiteThe Viral Waistcoat is literally a faux-leather waistcoat that Russ rescued after a particularly seedy fancy-dress party (or particularly seedy night at Manacle?). Russ (or whomever handles the waistcoat at the time) encourages random aquaintances to wear the waistcoat, take a photo, sign it in white ink, and pass it along. The coat itself has run out of signature real-estate, but Russ has found room for a NTT Docomo-friendly QR code, ready for when it next tours Japan.

Russ exerts very little control over the proceedings (and doesn’t even have insurance!) yet has managed to document on his Viral Waistcoat blog hundreds of individual wearers and passers-on.

Why is it viral?

The object of the experiment is to make a physical object “viral”. That is, for the idea to be interesting enough that it becomes contagious, and the wearer will gladly pass it along. Of course, unlike digital media, the faux-leather physical object can only be transmitted at a one-to-one ratio. It follows a decidedly linear progression of exposure, not able to be copied and transmitted exponentially.

Why is it interesting?

I was intrigued by the de-virtualising of the idea of “viral”; solidifying the concept and studying it, like a bug trapped in resin. So often, it takes an unhealthy obession with a discarded piece of fetishwear to highlight the curious nature of viral marketing online. This is no exception.”

Thanks Tom

————————————

“the tale of the Viral Waistcoat. There was a degree of unitentional hilarity when the Powerpoint failed to perform, but in the context I actualy thought this was intentional. Crying with laughter was the best way to mark the end of the evening.”

Thanks Roger

————————————-

viral waistcoat FTW – http://twitter.com/trib

————————————-

best use of a llama this evening – http://twitter.com/mpesce

————————————-

viral waistcoat needs a disinfection

————————————-

Fashion 2.0 Facebook groups for used waistcoats. The idea of a viral waistcoat sounds unhealthy.

————————————-

The viral waistcoat arrives

————————————-


4 Responses to “About the Viral Waistcoat”

  1. Hi Russ,

    What an awesome viral idea , thanx very insperational long may it continue
    leon @ osmosis a viral creative think tank in Johannesburg – South Africa !

  2. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

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