Advertising through reverse graffiti

What is reverse graffiti and how to use it. Most businesses are constantly looking for new ways to get their message across to the general public. However, a large majority of companies aren’t aware of new and innovative ways to grab customers’ attention and only stick to traditional marketing methods. While advertising on billboards and posters are proven marketing avenues with decades of results behind them, they have since been tapped out and exhausted. Consumers are constantly bombarded by traditional marketing, and they have started paying less attention. Nowadays, if you want to achieve immediate results and boost sales, you might want to try something more creative, like advertising through reverse graffiti. It’s one of the most effective ways of getting your message out there and sparking conversation about your brand.

What is reverse graffiti?

Reverse graffiti is an innovative form of advertising done by creating art in public spaces. Usually done on pavements or walls, certain segments are cleaned in such a way as to create shapes, patterns, and images that can be used for marketing purposes. Since ads are created by cleaning dirt and grime, this type of marketing is also called clean advertising. Depending on the foot traffic in the area, reverse graffiti usually lasts between 7 and 10 days. However, with the right placement and weather conditions, it can last for several months. Another common technique is the use of chalk stencil outlines on pavement, which can use multiple colours and draw complex images.

Chalk stencils are a popular form of clean advertising.
Chalk stencils can also be used to get multiple colours into your advertisement.

The most common uses of reverse graffiti

Since reverse graffiti is a form of guerrilla marketing, many similar principles apply here as well. The main idea behind reverse graffiti is to get people talking and generate buzz around your brand. Once people exhibit a genuine interest to learn more about your company or products, they will also be more receptive to your other marketing efforts and sales pitches. However, as with other types of guerrilla marketing, you should act fast while people are excited to find out what your marketing is about. Therefore, the best uses of advertising through reverse graffiti are for:

  • Product launches. This is when it’s most important to build hype, and product launches are the perfect focal point of your entire marketing campaign.
  • Promoting your brand and increasing business awareness. Raising interest is especially important for new brands trying to break into the local market.
  • Promote local events. Short and intense bursts of marketing are best for one time things like events. Why rent a billboard and pay for it for weeks even after your event is over?
  • Directions to a specific location. This can be perfect for pointing customers to a newly opened store or the location where you are hosting an event.
Outline used for reverse graffiti advertising.
Advertising through reverse graffiti uses natural materials and fades over time.

Making the most of your reverse graffiti advertising

As with any form of marketing, you’ll want to ensure that you have a good return on your investment. Here are the main ways to ensure that your clean marketing is effective:

Reverse Graffiti
Pavement Reverse Graffiti Examples

  • Choose your timing carefully. Try to tie in your reverse graffiti marketing with an important event for your company in order to generate excitement when it matters the most.
  • Focus on your target audience. Know who your customers are and how to appeal to them. This can influence your decisions on designing and placing your graffiti ads.
  • Have a strong call to action. Reverse graffiti creates an immediate response in your audience. Therefore, its best put to use when paired with a call to action.
  • Combine it with other forms of marketing. Although reverse graffiti has a high impact and generates interest in onlookers, it’s easily combined with other forms of unconventional marketing, which can help the message really land.
  • Pick a high traffic area. It makes sense to place your reverse graffiti where many people will see it. Anything from crowded pedestrian areas, bus stops or popular commute routes are great picks. Keep in mind that reverse graffiti works best on a dirty, paved surface.

Translating reverse graffiti into clicks

Unfortunately, even if your real-world marketing tactics are innovative and draw attention from an audience, you’ll still need a way to translate that momentum into online spaces. It’s important that you don’t forget about the digital world since you can scale your marketing online in order to reach more people. You can even boost your ranking on Google by using the initial hype created by your reverse graffiti and carrying it over to a digital marketing campaign. People spend most of their time on social networks, and having your message willingly shared there by customers can increase your reach by several orders of magnitude. This can be accomplished by the clever use of hashtags and incentivising people to take photos of your graffiti and spread word of mouth. You can also include a website URL as part of your graffiti marketing that can lead back to your landing page.

Use advertising through reverse graffiti to get a better Google rank.
Make your graffiti advertisement stand out and get people to take pictures of it.

Don’t do this yourself

Although reverse graffiti might seem like a good idea for a DIY project for your company, there are a few legal considerations to keep in mind. Advertising through reverse graffiti is legal, but it does require advanced permission from your local authorities. Your best course of action would be to go through a marketing agency that already has experience in this type of advertising. If they have already done reverse graffiti advertising, a marketing agency will know how to obtain legal permission for your campaign. Getting all your paperwork and permits sorted out is crucial since it can save you a lot of money in fines and removal fees. Additionally, it will ensure that your ads won’t get taken down by the council before your big event. The last thing you need is to have your carefully planned marketing campaign shut down due to a missing permit.

The bottom line

Advertising through reverse graffiti is a high impact form of marketing that can benefit any campaign. It can help your business stand out and generate interest for your brand when you need it the most.

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