Dock-vertising

by Jamie Schurbon | Jul 15, 2011
| 2 Comments

Summary:

My idea is three-dimensional message box that lies flush with the walking surface of public docks and fishing piers, peering down into the water. With a transparent plexiglass cover, much like a glass-bottom boat, every lake user will notice the message below. It is constructed to accommodate foot traffic, but an apparent gap in the traditional dock boards will cause every user to stop in their tracks. The sealed box below will accommodate a variety of messages and 3-D dioramas. It has shock value and is placed at the one location visited by every lake user.

Over the years conservation groups have attempted a variety of means to promote lake friendliness - brochures, workshops, articles, billboards, signs at boat landings, and web videos. They have not proven to be very effective. Some tactics require an audience that is already interested, and don’t create new attitudes, much less spur people to action. Signs at boat landings are viewed as regulatory (and often are). Some aren’t that interesting and unique – we are competing against a barrage of other types of advertising so we must be more memorable. Sometimes the message is spread too broadly, and is relevant to only a fraction of the people it reaches. Or it reaches the right people, but at a moment when they are not receptive to the message.

The Dock-vertising message boxes address these issues. It hits people at their most relevant moment - when they are headed out on to the lake. It cannot be ignored, as it is directly underfoot and people generally think twice before stepping onto a transparent area with water below. It has shock value and is memorable. Adults will stop to look. Kids will jump on it and ask their parents. It’s engaging and in the spirit of fun, which is what visiting the lake is all about.

Lastly, the Dock-vertising box invites creativity. Countless messages and marketing tactics may be applied. It is limited only by the creativity of the message designer.

About You

Organization: Anoka Conservation District Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Jamie

Last Name

Schurbon

Country

United States, MN, Anoka County

City

Ham Lake

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Anoka Conservation District

Organization Website

Your Idea

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Name your idea

Dock-vertising

Describe how you would use $15,000 to help your community become aware of and address water issues in Minnesota.

My idea is three-dimensional message boxes that lie flush with the walking surface of public docks and fishing piers, peering down into the water. With a transparent plexiglass cover, much like a glass-bottom boat, every lake user will notice the message below. It is constructed to accommodate foot traffic, but an apparent gap in the traditional dock boards will cause every user to stop in their tracks. The sealed box below will accommodate a variety of messages and 3-D dioramas. It has shock value and is placed at the one location visited by every lake user.

My first Dock-vertising message would stress the value of native aquatic plants. Far too many lake users and homeowners wage war against aquatic plants that are critical to lake ecology. I would use a split hole-in-the-dock message box like dry aquaria, showing a healthy lake bottom with aquatic plants and fish on one side and an algae choked murky water condition on the other. Brief written messages around the perimeter of each box would describe the role of aquatic plants in healthy lakes. The message would also clearly address the difference between native and invasive plant species.

Dock-vertising works for many other messages too. Boxes may address:
• Aquatic invasive species (replicas), their destructiveness, and how to prevent their spread,
• Phosphorus in lakes, and reduction strategies,
• Lake-friendly lakeshore landscaping,
• Septic system maintenance,
• Littering, and a peek at trash pulled from the bottom of this lake,
• and others.

Once designed, Dock-vertising message boxes are easily used statewide. The primary design considerations are safety, maintaining the structural integrity of the dock, and ensuring low maintenance and durability.

How do you define your "community"?. How are water issues affecting your community?

Our jurisdiction includes all of Anoka County, which is in the northern Twin Cities Metropolitan Area and has a population of over 300,000 residents. One big challenge in our community is the effect that intense lake usage and activity within the watershed has on lake health. Homes line our lakeshores. Many manicure their lawns to the water’s edge and strive to maintain a “weed”-free lake in front of their home. On summer weekends, public boat landings overflow. The well-populated watersheds generate nutrients and other pollutants that ultimately drain into lakes and rivers. But this is not unique to our community. This proposal is applicable in many places statewide. Wherever lakes are impacted by people’s choices, Dock-vertising would be a powerful tool. If we can manage these behaviors, we’ll make great strides toward better water quality and fishing.

Innovation

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Describe how your idea is creative.

My idea is three-dimensional message box that lies flush with the walking surface of public docks and fishing piers, peering down into the water. With a transparent plexiglass cover, much like a glass-bottom boat, every lake user will notice the message below. It is constructed to accommodate foot traffic, but an apparent gap in the traditional dock boards will cause every user to stop in their tracks. The sealed box below will accommodate a variety of messages and 3-D dioramas. It has shock value and is placed at the one location visited by every lake user.
Over the years conservation groups have attempted a variety of means to promote lake friendliness - brochures, workshops, articles, billboards, signs at boat landings, and web videos. They have not proven to be very effective. Some tactics require an audience that is already interested, and don’t create new attitudes, much less spur people to action. Signs at boat landings are viewed as regulatory (and often are). Some aren’t that interesting and unique – we are competing against a barrage of other types of advertising so we must be more memorable. Sometimes the message is spread too broadly, and is relevant to only a fraction of the people it reaches. Or it reaches the right people, but at a moment when they are not receptive to the message.
The Dock-vertising message boxes address these issues. It hits people at their most relevant moment - when they are headed out on to the lake. It cannot be ignored, as it is directly underfoot and people generally think twice before stepping onto a transparent area with water below. It has shock value and is memorable. Adults will stop to look. Kids will jump on it and ask their parents. It’s engaging and in the spirit of fun, which is what visiting the lake is all about.
Lastly, the Dock-vertising box invites creativity. Countless messages and marketing tactics may be applied. It is limited only by the creativity of the message designer.

Impact

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Describe how how you expect your idea to make a difference in your community.

I would propose installing the first Dock-vertising at the busiest public boat landings. This guarantees visibility to the largest audience, and these are often the lakes that need the most attention. The message and marketing will communicate actions and behaviors every single person can change to improve lake health.

Consider one example – lakeshore landscaping. Imagine the cumulative impact if just 10% of lakeshore homeowners were inspired to not mow to the water’s edge! Programs already exist to assist homeowners with native plant lakeshore restorations. Locally, we have assistance available from the soil and water conservation district and watershed management organizations. However, few requests for financial or technical assistance are received. Creating new attitudes about how lakeshores should appear and function will indeed improve the ecology and quality of lakes in a measurable way.

Sustainability and Growth

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Describe how your idea will "stick" in your community and how you think it could be repeated in other communities.

I envision a design that requires only yearly maintenance, to be performed when docks are removed in late fall. Low maintenance and durability are the first keys to a sustainable program.

When repairs are needed, or we wish to add additional sites, we have a network of local entities that could support the effort. This includes cities, lake associations, watershed districts, watershed management organizations, soil and water conservation districts, and state agencies like the DNR.

Once designed, it will be easy to provide specs and design instructions to anyone, anywhere. We could cover all the details, including sources of materials.

Lastly, I acknowledge this project will require permissions from the owners of docks at public boat landings, often the MN DNR. I anticipate their concerns will be the same as ours – structural integrity and low maintenance. If we design toward these considerations, I believe we can acquire the necessary permissions.

hayworth structure said: I like your concept and it will be really great if it was been made before summer. - Kris Krohn Strongbrook about this Competition Entry. - 2047 days ago read more >
Katina Petersen said: I like that you are trying to reach people when they are ON the water- great thinking! about this Competition Entry. - 3018 days ago read more >

Jamie Schurbon updated this Competition Entry. - 3018 days ago

Jamie Schurbon updated this Competition Entry. - 3019 days ago

Jamie Schurbon submitted this idea. - 3019 days ago