Bringing Social Media to Life: The Tweeting Pothole

Think the roads in your town are bad? Just wait till you see the streets of Panama City, Panama. Despite the fact that the city has experienced a huge amount of growth in the past few years and is developing at a breakneck pace, many of its older roadways have been neglected for years. Potholes are now so bad that it’s become a running joke among the city’s residents.

To remedy the problem, one of the city’s most popular news organisations, Telemetro Reporta, teamed up with local creative agency Ogilvy & Mather to build a solution — an electronic device that sends a message directly to public officials whenever somebody hits a pothole.

The Tweeting Pothole, as its called, consists of two parts: a durable, puck-shaped pressure sensor placed inside a pothole, and a small wireless network module placed nearby. When the pressure sensor is activated (by a car running it over), it sends a signal to the network module, which automatically sends a tweet to the Panama City Ministry of Public Works and requests that the pothole be fixed.

What creative triggers could you implement on your social media channels beyond standard automation tools?

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