The competition turns creatives who entered this year's Vancouver-based Lotus Awards into stocks, which can be bought, traded and have their values displayed in real-time ala Bloomberg, NASDAQ or the NYSE. "This idea goes further than a poster with a deadline to elicit entries and engage a community," says Taxi's chief creative officer Paul Lavoie. Visitors can search for stocks individually or press the Randomizer button to create an instant portfolio.
The site not only gives instructions on how to play the LSX, but constantly updates the values of the creative equity shares and names of hot stocks—the highest priced at the moment being that of TBWA, Vancouver copywriter Brent Wheeler. Taxi, Vancouver has also created a fictional guide named Stephen Howard who offers Cramer-like insights and tips as well as weekly webisodes to keep players up to speed.
As the Lotus event unfolds, the stock of those who win goes up with every award won in the 50 categories involved. The player whose portfolio sees the greatest gains by the end of the Lotus Awards wins $500 and an HTC Touch DiamondTM mobile device from Candian telecom brand Telus. Taxi is giving every share a base value of $2.00. After that, each merit is worth $3.00, each Lotus Award won is worth $5.00, and Best of Show earns $10.00. Taxi's CCO Lavoie concludes, "Creativity is still a stock everyone should invest in."