You no doubt remember the infamous Post-It Note Jaguar. The practical joke played on an unsuspecting coworker turned into an internet sensation thanks to the photographic skills of Scott Ableman who published images of the stunt on Flickr under a Creative Commons license. 3M, the maker of Post-It Notes, wanted to cash in on the popularity of the Post-It Note Jaguar, and so contacted Ableman to use his pics. After a bit of negotiation, Ableman came down to the price of $2,000 for the use of his images on in-store displays for six months. Anyone who deals with professional photographers knows that two grand is a steal for a national campaign, but 3M didn't bite and instead told Ableman they could recreate the pics for around $1,000 and wouldn't use his originals unless he lowered his price to match. Ableman didn't, and 3M went ahead without him to produce the above in-store display that has been seen in stores this summer.
The 3M promotion is part of the Million Uses and Counting Contest, plastering someone's car with the adhesive paper scraps being one such use. The company even made a YouTube video of how to Post-It a car, and the scene they recreated is eerily similar to the one Ableman originally photographed, except that it rings completely hollow. The original was a practical joke we watched unfold through Ableman's pics, while 3M wants us to find a million uses for wasting its product so we can buy more. The marketing folks at 3M clearly don't get the whole social media thing, otherwise they wouldn't have haggled with Ableman over just $1,000 and then proceeded to profit off his efforts. Not cool 3M, not cool. Thanks for the tip, Melanie!