Natural media techniques are magical. One of my favorites techniques is reverse graffiti also known as green graffiti, clean advertising, grime writing and many other names. There is something about cleaning an image or a communication message out of the dirt using only a template, clean water and a power washer that is very appealing. Who would have thought that dirt is such a great a canvas to work on. Power-washers wash the dirt easily as if one is waving a magic wand.
Capturing the creation of a reverse graffiti campaign on camera is a great way to collect content that can be used on many other communication channels for months even years to come making it the ideal content marketing content collection touch point.
The most successful natural media campaigns, no matter which techniques is used, all share one thing in common, they migrated from the physical location to the internet where they are exposed to a much wider audience for a longer period of time. The Reverse Graffiti Project by Paul (Moose) Curtis is a great example of a campaign produced almost 7 years ago and today it continues to be circulated around the internet.
Natural media techniques get attention and have lasting power when they are used it to their fullest potential. Green Works did a great job of capturing the making of the reverse graffiti project in a beautifully shot and edited short documentary Doug Pray.
The three and a half minute video allowed Green Works to tell their story showing how easily dirt could be removed while at the same time producing a piece of street art that made San Francisco look just that much better. The video has been viewed more than 1,500,000 times on YouTube, Vimeo and many other websites. The images they captured have been used on thousands of blogs, appeared in print articles and are still being shared on Pinterest daily.
The combination of art and advertising produces some amazing visuals and since the medium is part of the story, the content generated ties it all together nicely.
Another brand that used reverse graffiti to generate content is KEEN Footwear. Their goal was to raise awareness of their brand in Germany and they succeeding in getting national media attention by producing only two 130 m2 reverse graffiti sidewalk murals in two German.
Working with Drew Brophy a well known Californian artist and also long time brand ambassador, KEEN Footwear brought the great outdoors into the urban landscape. Three years later, photos of the sidewalk murals are still showing up in articles continuing to add value to the KEEN brand long after the sidewalk murals were washed away. They also compensated for the water they used by funding a water project that built a new water harvesting system for a school in Thailand, using precious water here while providing clean water for school children in Thailand.
Przemek Truscinski produced another of his spectacular works in Poland for PGE Polish Energy Group in the early summer of 1015 and within three months, there are over 2,000 search results on Google. It has appeared in blog posts of some of the most influential websites and has gotten a huge amount of attention from the sustainability community around the world.
Unlike traditional outdoor media that requires that brands fill hundreds or even thousands of media frames just to be noticed, natural media campaigns require just one spectacular image that cost much less and deliver far more value. An investment of $20,000 to $40,000 can earn a return on investment that runs in the millions making it one of the best media buys out there.
Content marketing makes sense and is more in tune with the way consumers are getting their information about products and services. It goes far beyond the single-minded propositions of traditional mass media and helps form long lasting relationships with consumers.
Creating great content is the first step in creating great content marketing. Natural media techniques not only provide interesting visuals but also come with great storytelling opportunities. Content that is interesting and touches people on an emotional level is far more likely to be shared with peers and sharing is the best measure of successful content marketing.
Natural Media is new but is be used by hundreds of brands including Nike, Sony, LG, Renault, Starbucks, Sonos and Heineken. Since it is much more affordable than traditional mass media, it is also perfectly suited for SMEs, NGOs and local governments. Natural media techniques include reverse graffiti, sand printing, moss and grass graffiti, chalk, milk paint and a growing number of eco-friendly techniques that have a low impact on the audience while having a high impact on the audience.
There are approximately 100 companies offering natural media services around the world. Here are six natural media companies who have produced highly successful campaigns and are worth checking out to get your creative juices flowing.
Green Street Media
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