Following a multimillion pound refurbishment, and using little more than seawater, SEA LIFE London Aquarium ran a (close to) zero-impact advertising campaign in the streets of London earlier this week. You might recognize the masterminds behind the campaign: Curb, the media agency that uses natural materials to build brand awareness for its clients. (We previously wrote about their sand sculptures, turf cutting and snow tagging innovations.) Dubbed ‘sea tagging’, Curb’s newest tool simply entails spraying seawater through custom-made stencils. Salt water evaporates more slowly than fresh water, and the stencilled graphics are visible for 5–15 minutes
up to two hours.
For Monday’s SEA LIFE campaign, over 2,000 images of sea turtles, sharks and seahorses were sprayed on streets, walls and sidewalks in 300 locations by a team of taggers dressed in scuba diving gear. Since the adverts are temporary and consist of nothing but water, Curb didn’t have to worry about permission or permits.
Considering the amount of visual clutter in public spaces that’s created by non-stop marketing efforts, a campaign that leaves nothing behind but a dusting of seasalt is as appealing for aesthetic reasons as it is for its low impact on the environment. While it may not work in hot cities, we expect to see sea tagging appear (and disappear) in other parts of the world soon.