Some creative types at Durham advertising agency McKinney have come up with an unconventional way for Steelers Nation to show support for their Super Bowl-bound team.
Would you believe a Twitter-powered Terrible Towel?
For the uninitiated, a black-and-gold Terrible Towel is a rallying symbol that Steelers fans feverishly twirl at critical points of a game as a way of urging their Steelers on to victory. True believers are convinced that voodoo, Pitsburgh-style, is involved.
Keep that Steelers lore in mind when you go to www.twerribletowel.com, which the agency launched at noon on Tuesday. (No that's not a typo. Twerrible, you see, goes hand-in-glove with Twitter-powered and twirling.)
If you go to the website and then tweet #steelersnation, you'll be rewarded with a twirl of the Terrible Towel. What's more, your Twitter handle will be displayed, along with the number of times that the towel has been twirled. (As of mid-afternoon today, there were 3,345 twirls....and counting.)
The concept came out of a brainstorming session involving Erie, Pa., native and life-long Steelers fan Ben Eckerson, an interactive producer at McKinney, and copywriters Stevie Archer and Jenny Nicholson.
Eckerson said the impetus -- other than his devotion to all things Steelers -- is a new initiative at McKinney that calls for employees at the 230-person agency to focus 10 percent of their time on innovation that isn't client-related. (It's been dubbed "The McKinney 10 Percent."
As for the mechanics of it all, the basics involve using some "coding magic" that connects a fan motor to a power source, causing the motor to turn. The motor is, in turn, connected to a black wooden hand clutching a Terrible Towel.
Seeing, as they say, is believing.