Reverse graffiti – the eco future for marketing?

Paul ‘Moose‘ Curtis, British street artist and granddaddy of the reverse graffiti movement, headed up the latest clean graffiti campaign along London’s Southbank in an attempt to clean up the capital in preparation for the Olympics.

Supported by Flash, whose manufacturer is Proctor & Gamble, one of the sponsors of the Olympics, it’s an innovative means of brand alignment and awareness, even though it lasted only two weeks before the big clean up. This is part of a larger, three month clean up campaign which has also seen another P&G brand, Febreze bring pop-up gardens to Liverpool Street, Euston, Victoria and Waterloo stations and Trafalgar Square.

Whilst part of me is disturbed by the fact that advertising & marketing companies have jumped on the eco bandwagon, at least they haven’t depleted the world’s resources by making more enormous billboard adverts from metals, plastics, etc. and hopefully the green ethos might actually influence the viewing public and the corporations themselves. Furthermore these reverse graffiti pieces are a far cry from schoolboy tags on the garden wall and should be considered as the art forms they truly are.

Whilst my background is not art but horticulture, as a landscape architect I have been in discussions with clients myself over the appropriate nature of slogans in planting plans, bedding displays, and living walls. Whilst it can appear gimmicky at worst, at best it’s a sustainable and refreshing approach to advertising. Having worked in PR & marketing in the city for years before the world of landscape beckoned, I can offer an interesting slant on this new green PR profession for the smaller company looking for a twist to their campaign.