Mixed Signals: One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Billboard

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.

Some marketing messages have layers of meaning that reverberate within the heart and mind long after you take it in. These are the most effective, of course, because it makes the message and the brand stick in the minds of the consumers.

I found one such layered, sticky message in the creation of a billboard for Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and the beach conservation film titled One Beach. Within this one billboard are multiple layers of meaning reinforced and strengthened by the communication vehicle itself.

What does wine have to do with beach conservation? Well, Barefoot has long supported clean beachfronts to keep the sands “barefoot friendly.” To further deliver its message to the marketplace, advertising giant BBDO San Francisco created a billboard on Venice Beach made entirely from trash collected along the shore. That billboard promotes the One Beach film and connects it to Barefoot. Watch how the billboard came together here:

Not only does this billboard creatively tie the problem (beach trash) to the solution (beach conservation education through One Beach), but it also has a strong redemptive quality to it.

BBDO collected more than 18,000 pieces of trash to create it—that’s a lot of trash removed from the beachfront! This is a win for beachgoers and conservationists. The prime location during construction drew lots of spectators, increasing the interest for the message.

As for the message—the trash was given a second life, used to persuade viewers to watch One Beach and to keep the beaches clean. As viewers take in the message, they see the wide array of litter found on the sands.

These layers reinforce the message because each time a piece of trash is seen on Venice Beach, it should remind the people of this billboard and the cause. The positive, creative message inspires and sticks.

I couldn’t help but think of how God makes all things new (Rev. 21:5), how He redeems us from the pit (Ps. 103:4), and how He makes beauty from ashes (Isa. 61:3). Similarly, this billboard exudes redemptive hope—something our world is in desperate need of.

 

About Erin Straza

Erin Straza (Associate Editor) is a freelance writer, editor, and marketing communications consultant, helping organizations tell their stories in authentic and compelling ways. After a stint in corporate marketing while earning her MBA, Erin taught marketing communications at Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State. She is crafting her first book, writing from the Illinois flatlands where she lives with her husband, Mike. Find more from Erin at her blog Filling My Patch of Sky and on Twitter @ErinStraza.
E-mail: erin [at] FillingMyPatchOfSky [dot] com
Blog: Filling My Patch of Sky
Twitter: @ErinStraza


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