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Creating and communicating a company’s sustainability platform is a delicate task. Your
message must be thoroughly vetted, substantiated, and authentically presented – lest you
run the risk of greenwashing. No good deed goes unpunished, indeed.
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One Laptop Per Child: “Buy One, Set One Free”

Sadly, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” is a rapidly widening chasm. An accelerated disparity in people’s standard of living brings vastly different levels of access to resources and to information. Being disconnected in a wired world makes it very hard to compete and succeed.

The Creative Artists Agency Foundation decided to rethink their holiday gift as an opportunity to help bridge this information gap. They took a look at children in emerging nations who find basic things such as health, safety, and education elusive or unavailable to them. In the spirit of their clients’ and colleagues’ good will, CAA worked with the community of Nhambita, Mozambique to help improve their everyday quality of life. One part of their effort involved giving XO Laptops to Nhambita’s children.

CAA’s roster of celebrities and friends needed to be informed and warmed by this choice. This “A” list was given the opportunity to match the Foundation’s generosity and personally donate a laptop to some of the world’s poorest children. The vehicle that delivered this message had to look sophisticated and intriguing enough to merit their attention, yet appropriately understated, elegant – and not at all extravagant.

Ken Eskenazi, working with the structural engineers at Color Service, developed a clever corrugated cardboard representation of the OLPC laptop. The die-cut XO logo served as a staging area for a “CAA red” gift card, personalized on the reverse. A well in the construction housed a hand-stitched brochure that described the equivalent good their daily purchases could create. All in all, the piece had a feeling similar to that of Frank Gehry’s corrugated chairs – simple materials elevated to a sculptural presence.

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