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Rainbow Warrior

Help Greenpeace build a new ship with their savvy interactive site

by Isabelle Doal in Tech on 22 March 2011

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Signaling a bold new direction in NGO fundraising traditions, Greenpeace recently launched a campaign to symbolically sell off pieces of its newest Rainbow Warrior ship, currently under construction in Germany. The third in a fleet of boats enabling Greenpeace to confront environmental threats from the frontline (the first was infamously bombed by French intelligence services in 1985), the ship will cost €22M to build anew, which the organization is raising through a Monopoly-style sale with buyers names going on a digital artwork that will sail with the ship.

To fully illustrate the point, French ad agency DDB and web developers Les 84 have created a stunning visual concept online for selling the ship piece by piece—from antennas to portholes—transforming the request for generosity into something more akin to luxury e-shopping.

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The interactive site allows the visitor to control a camera for an in-depth virtual tour of the entire boat, complimented by sound effects reminiscent of both deep ocean life and thrilling adventures. Scrolling the cursor over the three extended views of the boat reveals views of the interior architecture, and with the help of 3D mapping and a rich soundtrack of creaking masts amid watery sounds, they've successfully created the impression of being not just on board but intimately familiar with the ship's inner workings. As you poke around the different areas, such as cabins, the galley, wheelhouse and more, the digital world gives a sense of what the real-life experience of seafaring for environmental justice might be like.

Everything on board is on sale, and prices span €1 for a fork to €7,000 for a desalinater. An e-boutique features comprehensive lists just like any regular online shop, and every buyer receives a certificate of ownership for their purchase.

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The ship's construction can be followed directly from the shipyard through a webcam, which updates regularly along with the purchasing rate. Only launching 20 days ago, the Rainbow Warrior is already 32% complete and is slated to be on sale and under construction through Fall 2011.

Making the act of shipbuilding into a digital experience draws in people that might not usually donate, appealing to both charitable and consumerist natures of people. Greenpeace will inaugurate the completely environmentally sustainable Rainbow Warrior in October 2011.

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