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Plastic Prius Flowers | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Plastic Prius Flowers

Prius Plastic

I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to describe how ugly the Flatiron building has gotten since Toyota invaded the area with their plastic Prius flowers. I guess part of me is surprised I haven’t come across anyone mentioning them yet as a story in itself. I could lament how this kind of corporate ownership of public space is ridiculous, but I suspect we all know that money talks these days. Especially when taxes aren’t about to be raised and the city is willing to do anything to squeeze an extra dollar into their pockets. So what I will mention instead is that if you look towards the back of the photo on the left side, there’s a billboard—but empty. It’s a telling sign in more ways then one. Why bother advertising a manufactured message on a two dimensional board when advertising today can be interactive and provide a “service”. I mention the word service because those plastic Prius flowers are enabling free wifi. I’ve never actually used it but I wouldn’t be surprised that before I log in I’m bombarded with a couple messages about how responsible Toyota is with the environment. My only question is are there plug in’s for my computer? Am I making a big deal out of nothing—maybe, but appears that the 2d world of advertising is about to be ignored when a message can be slammed together with a service.

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  • http://inkasylum.com/ Ink Asylum

    I've used the flowers for free wi-fi and aside from the network being named “Prius-something-or-other” I wasn't bombarded with any kinds of ads. Granted, I was on an iPhone, not a laptop.

    Yes, there are plugs in the bases, which also serve as benches. They're both powered by solar panels on the backs of the petals.