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"Say I Love You." is an ad campaign that seeks to give to consumers without getting anything in return. It's a call to action.

"Say I Love You." This is the title and the overarching theme of this proposed ad campaign. At lockstep, we intend this message to be read at face value, as a call to action. We want the viewer to feel compelled to say "I love you" to those they love after having viewed this ad. But we also see another reading of the phrase; "Say I love you." as in, "suppose i love you." or, "suppose the creators of this ad that you are viewing right now actually love you and have created this ad for the sole purpose of encouraging you to engage in activities that will improve your life in a meaningful way. Suppose that right now, as you view this ad on the subway platform, we are not trying to sell you another product or service that you don't need, we're not trying to co-opt your desires for our brand's purposes. We just want you to be happy and have a couple of suggestions for how you might achieve that."

In supposing this, you would be correct. And that is why we have taken to Kickstarter. As might be obvious, an ad campaign of this nature will not pay for itself. There is no product or service sales behind it, driving ad-funds our way. And with the goal in mind to purchase 260 ad units to run for 4 weeks in NYC's subway system, we need like-minded humans to stand behind us and "vote with their wallets" as it were. To pitch in and say, "yes, this is the kind of messaging we would like to see on the billboards around us."

So why buy advertising for a campaign so detached from the branding and advertising culture? Why not just make stickers and put them on stuff around us, or wheat paste posters to public surfaces? A good question, and we think we have a good answer. We're seeking to purchase advertising because this is the established framework for sending messages to the public. To put it another way, we believe that purchasing ad space rather than guerrilla-style image distribution will add an element of legitimacy to the message, but more than that, will prove that the established system can be used to broadcast messages that are by and large contrary to, and cut completely against most of the other messages being broadcast by this established system. We're not saying that advertising is in and of itself, bad. It can be a useful tool for good things. We are saying that a lot of what we see around us is manipulative, and we'd like to see an alternative option given to the public.

Following are the messages we've chosen to broadcast:

We want these ads to feel warm and friendly, so we've chosen to use bright, cheerful colors and simple graphic shapes. The colors may not be final yet, but they will remain bright and cheerful regardless.

You'll notice that the last ad is blank. As one of the rewards, we're providing an opportunity for one supporter to work with us to broadcast a message of their own choosing. Keep in mind, this is not a sponsorship opportunity. Your logo/name/brand will not appear on the ad at all. Only a simple message that you genuinely care about because, well, you care about it, and you think it will be helpful for the viewer.

We want to put to the test that, given the chance, there a lot of people out there that will stand behind such an initiative as this. We think there are, and we think you would do it even without the promise of something in return. Still, we think you should have a memento of your support of this effort. So we're pleased to offer some lovely rewards, including some letterpressed poster versions of the ads. You can see all of the available rewards above and in the right-hand sidebar.

example poster
example poster
example postcards
example postcards

There will also be no branding whatsoever on the ads themselves. No "designed by lockstep studio" nor "sponsored by this corporate behemoth or that." These ads are designed to seem like there are lines of marketing copy on them at first glance, but upon closer examination, the viewer will find that they are just lines, plain and simple.

Furthermore, in the spirit of this project, we at lockstep studio have chosen to remain anonymous to reinforce the idea that these ads are not intended to be promotional materials of any kind. If you tried hard enough you could probably figure out who we are, but we're not going to tell you outright. However, to add credibility, we've asked daniel ryan (the star of our video) to vouch for us as actual humans that are not just trying to pull a fast one. Feel free to contact dan to inquire about our legitimacy.

We want to thank you again for visiting our kickstarter page, and we hope you are as excited as we are about the prospect of sending messages of love to the community.

Warmly,
The friendly folks at lockstep

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

it's difficult for us to foresee many difficulties at the moment. we've secured pricing for the production and fulfillment of all of our rewards. we've been in regular communication with CBS outdoor, the organization responsible for managing the ad space in NYC's subways. we've secured pricing from them for the media itself, the production cost of the media and how long the ads will run. we've used CBS outdoor's production guidelines and produced the ads to meet their production sizes and standards. we've shown them our artwork and they love the idea and are eager to see it come to fruition.

we've factored in all of the above mentioned costs plus the percentages that will be due to kickstarter and amazon.

if or when difficulties do arise, we will meet them with our full energies and will not cease working until we resolve the issue in an acceptable way for all parties involved.

one thing worth mentioning here, though not necessarily a risk, is that lead time for production and fulfillment of the rewards could take up to a month, from the time the kickstarter project ends to the time that it hits your mailbox.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    2 backers

    EVERY LITTLE BIT: You'll receive artwork for the ads in the form of jpegs, for desktop backgrounds and what not.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    THE NUDGE: you'll receive hi-resolution artwork of the ads to print for yourself, make into desktop backgrounds, or any number of other things.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    6 backers

    THE LOVE NOTES: you'll receive a set of five 5"x7" professionally produced color postcards of the ads as well as the hi-res artwork. mail someone a message of love, or just keep them for yourself as a memento.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    THE SMALL REBELLION: you'll receive one 17.5"x22.5" letterpress-printed color poster of the ad of your choice as well as the hi-res artwork. the ads in the subway will eventually have to come down, but they can live on forever on your apartment wall.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    4 backers

    THE ONE-UP: one 17.5"x22.5" letterpress-printed color poster of the ad of your choice plus a set of five 5"x7" professionally produced color postcards of the ads as well as the hi-res artwork. a poster plus a lil' something extra.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $65 or more
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    0 backers

    THE RESISTANCE: it's starting to get serious; three 17.5"x22.5" letterpress-printed color posters of the ads of your choice as well as the hi-res artwork.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    THE TIPPING POINT: three 17.5"x22.5" letterpress-printed color posters of the ads of your choice plus a set of five 5"x7" professionally produced color postcards of the ads as well as the hi-res artwork.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    0 backers

    THE DISTANCE: go the distance and collect all of the posters and all of the postcards! set of all five 17.5"x22.5" letterpress-printed color posters of the ads. plus a set of five 5"x7" professionally produced color postcards of the ads as well as the hi-res artwork.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $3,000 or more
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    0 backers

    FROM THE HEART: you will receive all of the posters and postcards as well as the hi-res artwork and we will design, print and send a custom "loveletter" from you to the person of your choice. and it will be awesome.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THE MOVEMENT STARTER: all of the rewards above + you will be able to supply the messaging for the 5th ad. please note, you will not receive any notoriety for this reward. you will, however have the opportunity to broadcast a message of love to those that encounter your ad on the subway platform. no sponsor logos or anything of that nature will go on the ad, only the message that you wish to send. if you wish to pledge this amount, please contact us before you back so that we can discuss the message you would like to broadcast.

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Funding period

- (38 days)