“Green” advertising no longer means what you think it means.
In 2008, London-based Curb Media Limited executed its first-ever project—burning the image of the newly elected ruler of the free world into wood with a magnifying glass. This solar art etching of U.S. President Barack Obama is still on display in the White House. And during the four years since, Curb has steadily grown into an advertising powerhouse known for creating eye-catching, out-of-home ads derived from natural, sustainable and multisensory media.
“We look to quite literally innovate and inspire a message using a unique medium,” Curb founder and CEO Anthony Ganjou tells PPB. “The methodology we employ not only sees clients regularly achieve media firsts but it also has a significant impact with the social media audience. For example, a billboard has to have a brilliant piece of creative for you to want to talk about it online. If we take that same billboard and have someone paint a message on it using wine, beer or Coke the chances are (and our track record shows) that you are more likely to share it across social media.”
Curb has lasered advertising messages into tree leaves, promoted movies using giant Petri dishes containing bacteria, spelled out campaign “mosseges” in moss, chalked slogans onto city sidewalks and airport tarmacs, imprinted logos into snow banks, planted “crop ads” in agricultural fields, piped scents into retail shops and much more.
Ganjou says all this is possible due to Curb’s bevy of artists, scientists, horticulturalist academics and production experts. “Our expertise is quite simply our ability to creatively innovate around any place, brief or objective. We have an ever-evolving network of hugely talented people and emerging technologies, which can be deployed in mind-blowing creative ways,” Ganjou says. “We believe the future of advertising lies not in static screens or billboards but creating communication that engages with consumers at an emotional level, something that makes them think ‘that’s absolutely amazing’ and drives long-term brand loyalty.”
While chalk outlines and snow sculptures may seem like child’s play, Ganjou says it’s anything but. “You cannot just create a viral video where you plant seeds into soil in a certain formation and hope they grow into a clear message; nature is far more difficult to control,” Ganjou says. “Equally, when using multisensory [media], you cannot just simply deploy a smell or sound and expect incredible results; you need experts who understand the audience, the environment and how to reach them using powerful non-visual communication.”
Ganjou’s passion for alternative forms of advertising is unmistakable, and brands are starting to catch on. During the past four years since its inception, Curb has produced more than 300 projects.
“Fundamentally the human race has only been partial to media as we know it, like screens and print, for 200 years (at the maximum),” Ganjou says, “whereas we have been engaging with natural and sensory stimuli since we crawled out of the oceans.”