Now that the excitement of 3D printing has flushed through mainstream culture like brightly coloured vomit down the gutters of an English town centre on a Saturday night, it’s time for it to become the go-to marketing gimmick for anything and everything – hence we give you IBM’s campaign at this year’s Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.
We’ve been away for a few weeks, so you might have already stumbled across this had you been reading other blogs, or feigning illness to sneak down to SW19 in person, but it goes for a double-whammy of ‘on-trend for geeks’ – encapsulating Big Data and 3D printing.
Somewhere on site is a little IBM shed packed with some screens showing the company’s analytical prowess: IBM is ranking players in a different way than usual, by combining analysis of their match performance (Form) with the fans’ opinion of them on social media (Status). The top players will be listed on the IBM Wimbledon Leaderboard and commemorated with the creation of limited edition souvenir trophies.
The said souvenirs are being created onsite at The Championships using 3D printing technology, also within the IBM shed, as a “live demonstration of how real-time data analytics can help businesses make more insightful decisions and deliver what their customers really want”.
Clearly, customers want 3D printed tat, but this is all being facilitated by a bank of Ultimakers, knocking out a new trophy in Wimbledon grass-court green ABS every 20 minutes.
We’re sure this won’t help make up for missing out on the real silverware, but expect to see 3D printing used in all types of gimmicky marketing well past the tennis season.