Class is in session on the corner of Broome and Crosby Streets in SoHo, NYC.
A giant billboard resembling a chalkboard was erected in September, on which was written an ever-growing mathematical formula of numbers significant to scientific human achievements along with the Twitter handle, @giantchalkboard and the URL to the matching Web site.
This equation had numbers and words and went on for days. Actually, equation brackets were placed on the chalkboard in piecemeal and five days later, the answer was revealed.
Spoiler alert, or should I say, you're welcome to those like me who are mathematically challenged: the answer is 7 billion, or the world's population. The answer was coupled with an ad that read: "Solutionism. The new optimism."
The brand behind this elaborate math lesson is Dow -- and the giant chalkboard is the latest component of its "Human Element" campaign.
The billboard is a giant equation of numbers that are significant to scientific human achievements.
The campaign, created by Draftfcb, made me wonder whether the agency had a mathematician or history buff on staff. Some answers are common knowledge or can easily be found online, like the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, in feet or the number of planets in the solar system today. The Fibonacci sequence of numbers is not something I'd know offhand, even if I had recently watched "The Da Vinci Code."
The Dow Draftfcb creative team worked with professional mathematicians to develop this equation, which took two weeks to complete.
"Solutionism represents a global conversation in facilitating and advancing vital human progress and Dow's collaboration to deliver solutions that help the entire population," said John Rossmiller, SVP, Group Management Director, Draftfcb Chicago.
"The intent was to start a conversation. Get people talking. To work together. To solve together. This is Solutionism! The response was amazing."
Puzzle solvers could look to Twitter for clues and the Giant Chalkboard Web site for answers at the end of each day, where each portion of the day's formula was explained.
The billboard was promoted through Twitter, blogs and word-of mouth.
The overall goal was to tout Dow as a solutions-based science company and drive interest in its Solutionism concept.