Proximity Design & Branding CHAIRFREECHICAGO.ORG by Energy BBDO Chicago

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Industry Website
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Energy BBDO Chicago
Designer Mike Mcquade
Released December 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Online Digital Design
Advertiser: PROXIMITY
Date of First Appearance: Dec 4 2010
Entrant Company: ENERGY BBDO, Chicago, USA
Entry URL:
Creative Director, Writer: Kevin Lynch (Energy BBDO)
Designer: Mike McQuade (Energy BBDO)
Developer: Brett Burwell (Energy BBDO)
Writer: Nate Gagnon (Energy BBDO)
Print Production: Heather Beck (Energy BBDO)
Project Manager: Claudia Richman (Energy BBDO)
Media placement: Website Launched - - December 4, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Print - December 6, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Broadcast - December 6, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Online Media - December 6, 2010

Describe the brief from the client
Chicagoans are generally nice to each other. Except after big snowstorms. After a big snow, drivers dig out their cars and then leave chairs, reserving the spot. Our brief was to design a community effort that put an end to this selfish long-standing community tradition. The tradition of saving shoveled out parking spaces gave people a systematic way of being selfish to each other. What they lacked was a system to be considerate to each other. Our effort needed to help change that.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
With all community efforts, the challenge is to be inclusive of everyone from the mildly interested to the passionate action-takers. To increase relevance and maximize participation in the promotion, our effort needed
tools and resources for everyone. By creating pressure on multiple levels (from neighbours to the government), the effort could promote more than just debate; it could increase the chance to truly change behaviour.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
To help change the behavior of Chicagoans, we created Chair-Free Chicago, a web-based community effort that let people declare their street a "Chair-Free Zone." The design was reminiscent of government-issued
signage, yet utilized unique colors and iconography. The website served as a centralized hub for all activities, allowing people to order Chair-Free Zone signs, read about the latest news, upload pictures of their own efforts, or even lobby city officials to change the law.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The site generated over 6.3 BILLION measured media impressions within the
first three months. All with a media spend of $0.