A Normal, Boring laptop campaign
- Shannon Wells
- Gresham Outlook - News
Company will film local residents as they innovate on computers
What do Boring, Ore., and Normal, Ill., have in common?
Well, aside from their highly unassuming - and yes, easy-to-lampoon - names, the two localities are now engaged in an unusual, technologically based competition designed to benefit the winner's local school district.
To promote the company's innovations in the portable computer field, the Toshiba corporation launched a contest this spring to see which residents could be the most inventive with one of its laptop computers.
Six candidates from each place were chosen and outfitted with state-of-the-art Toshiba machines. In mid-July, camera crews will document their progress as they explore the outer reaches of what can be achieved with a hard drive, small screen and keyboard. Possible projects range from creating Web sites and graphics to e-mailing and Internet dating adventures, said Aron North of Y and R Brands, the agency representing Toshiba.
Online viewers will vote on which locality's residents they believe achieved more in the allotted time - and thus became more 'exciting' in the process. The winner will receive a technological upgrade to a local school system, courtesy of Toshiba. The company hasn't specified which school district near Boring would be rewarded.
'It's going to take a month or so to get a documentary shot,' North said, noting videos will be posted on MySpace beginning July 27. 'You can watch the videos and see how people are going to get more exciting (in) Boring vs. Normal.'
The names of the participants, chosen in mid-May, haven't been disclosed so that they can work without distraction, North said.
'They identified what they've set as goals,' he said. 'It's a fantastic mix of everyday people. We want the program to be light and fun. We don't want it to be too heavy.'
Toshiba launched the idea to draw more attention to what North calls its 'pioneering' efforts in laptop technology.