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Ads that clean streets

Telecoms & Tech

Guerrilla marketing techniques have been around for years, but they’ve also acquired a bad rep for sometimes defacing public property; city officials tend not to look too kindly on adverts scrawled in spray paint on city pavement, for example. Now Street Advertising Services is offering a less antagonizing—and more legal—solution by creating images out of water. The British company’s Street Art service uses high-pressure cleaning machines to wash brands, logos and adverts onto dirty pavements. First, clients provide their design, and SAS turns it into a giant stencil. Then, working at night, the SAS team blasts the stencil with water and steam on dirty walls, roads, pavements or even road signs. The result is a sparkling clean image in the shape of the company’s logo or message. Nothing but water and steam are used, and it’s all perfectly environmentally friendly and legal, SAS stresses. Pricing for a street art campaign with 15 to 20 adverts throughout a city begins at GBP 1,000 per city plus initial setup costs. Clients so far have ranged from newly opened businesses to global brands. The idea for the service, which launched last year, came to founder Kristian Jeffrey out of sheer frustration. Jeffrey explains: “I run several small online businesses, and was searching for cost-effective advertising to attract consumers to my sites. My potential customers were walking around me every day, and it was when I was walking through the dirty streets of London that the idea came to me: why not take advertising literally to the street? Having experimented with several different methods, we wanted to apply a technique that was not just eye-catching and effective but also friendly to the environment. What could be more natural than water?” SAS has operated primarily in the UK so far, but it’s open to projects anywhere in the world (as long as there’s dirty pavement!). The company is also keen to explore reciprocal arrangements with other entrepreneurial enterprises, Jeffrey says. One to get in on while it’s still early? So much dirty pavement, so little time….



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