Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister asked his School of Visual Arts class to create a design that could touch someone’s heart.
This is how two of his class interpreted the brief: a single sock given to New Yorkers in laundromats, in a custom package that tells the story of a washing machine named Gene who’s been eating everyone’s socks and now wants to make amends. Awesome!
OK, so it probably isn’t a feasible product (although I’ve seen stranger in Urban Outfitters during Secret Santa season) but it shows how otherwise indistinguishable products can be made unique and sticky through a story—something that's becoming more and more important for brands who want to cut through the noise online.
Case in point? Compare the online success of Compare the Market's Aleksandr Orlov with that of Confused.com. Compare the Market famously doubled their sales in a year thanks to the cheeky meerkat, and they've acquired almost 800,000 social followers in the process—almost 800,000 more than their rivals at Confused.com. The products are the same: the story made all the difference.
But back to the socks: you can watch highlights of the giveaway below, and learn more on the making of the sock (and Gene the washing machine) on the designers' blog.