Swipe up to view project

— The world’s first social media fuelled price-drop pop-up and how it went viral

Featured in: The Independent / Dazed & Confused / It's Nice That / Grafik Magazine / Complex / People Of Print / UAL / Trendspace / Printsome / Despoke / Prote.in / Remarkably / Corriere Della Sera / YCN / Viewpoint Magazine

In 2014 we, the second-year undergraduates of the Design and Interaction course, put on a pop-up shop with the aim of raising funds for the Central Saint Martins Graphics Degree Show in 2015. The challenge was clear: how could we promote and publicise our shop with no budget?
I was put in charge of online publicity and decided it would be a perfect opportunity to experiment with exploiting social media and the vast audiences it presented us with. The key was to find a way to hook people into viewing a website that promoted our shop.

It was a Pop-up shop with a difference.
Limited edition objects designed and manufactured by students at Central Saint Martins started off with a price tag of £1,000,000 each. The twist was that each time the Worth website was shared over social media, the price dropped.

I designed the Worth website and developed it in collaboration with Sion Fletcher & Anand Savjani

We had to give people an irresistible reason to share the our website with others. To ‘incentivise’ sharing we gave users the power to force down the overall price with a simple share button.
Once pressed, our algorithm assigned a value to each user’s share and auto- populated their Tweet or Facebook status with “This tweet/ status is worth £xxx,xxx.xx”. When successfully posted, people were rewarded by seeing how their actions made an immediate impact on the price.

We amassed 1.7 million Facebook impressions in 3 days, trended on twitter and crashed our university servers due to high traffic.

Worth pop-up was an experiment, both in terms of its message and its marketing. It demonstrated the power of the crowd in action: people working together to dictate the ultimate price of what was on sale.

Rather than making a direct comment on the value of objects or art, the aim was to provoke others to question what we mean by ‘value’: who defines it and what makes objects really ‘worth’ what they cost. It fuelled a lively online debate about the meaning of ‘value’ in the creative arts.

During design and development of the Worth website, I learned valuable techniques for influencing the behaviour of online crowds – what worked and why.

The Worth website and concept created the perfect conditions for viral spread because they created a sustained loop of sharing by visitors to the site.

The website was designed to create the perfect conditions for viral spread, kick-starting a self-perpetuating loop of sharing by visitors to the site. Any barriers that reduced this possibility of sharing were minimised. Find our more in my essay, Digital Supercrowds. (Contact for copy)

Next Project: