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The Genius of the iSaw

You may have heard about the iSaw last week. Billed as the world's first USB-powered chainsaw, the gadget was picked up by Wired and Gizmodo as soon as it was announced.The idea seemed pretty crazy. Could a USB port really provide enough power to run a chainsaw?

You may have heard about the iSaw last week. Billed as the world's first USB-powered chainsaw, the gadget was picked up by Wired and Gizmodo as soon as it was announced.The idea seemed pretty crazy. Could a USB port really provide enough power to run a chainsaw? Would a USB-powered chainsaw ever be useful? Actual iSaw's weren't in stores but you could pre-order one for $60 and the promotional materials for the iSaw-a slick website and video-were, it seems, just believable enough.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzNuS8qMnag

But, as as PSFK reports, the whole thing is a sort of a hoax by marketing company BBH Asia Pacific to promote a greater awareness of the environmental impact of needless printing. People who preordered the iSaw were sent the following note:

Hello.
We love that you liked the i.Saw enough to pre-order.
Truth is, you already own a chainsaw. Your keyboard.
Help save more trees by cutting down on unnecessary printing. Download PaperCut, a free application that plays the sound of a chainsaw each time you press Ctrl-P.
Available for Mac and PC.
Thanks for the support. Help spread the buzz, if you will
PaperCut Team (formerly known as i.Saw Team)





This is really brilliant. Being entirely digital, the whole campaign was cheap to pull off, and the fake product got their site 1.5 million hits. Anyone who downloads the PaperCut app will be reminded, in a pretty humorous way, of the source of the paper they're using when they print. And, importantly, this marketing firm has proven it can design a hell of a viral meme.

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