Making the World a Better Place: Examples of Mural and Graffiti Advertising
Now the question is, what makes these examples of mural and graffiti advertising so special? For one thing, murals are eye-catching; everybody loves to look at them and by doing so they become potential clients. But in addition to that, murals are part of a rebellious and controversial art form: street art.
“What I love about street art is that you simply throw art at people,”
Explains Rotterdam-based street artist Nina Valkhoff.
“You go to abandoned places and turn them into something beautiful, you have the power to reach so many people.”
So even if a mural is made at the request of a special brand or for a specific product, it is always representative of something else. And by being a representation of street art, even mural and graffiti advertising examples can have a major impact on society by transmitting clear values.
Also, each piece of graffiti speaks the language of its painter. Each is an individual expression, often meticulously planned but conveying a free, creative spirit. Let’s look at a few examples of mural and graffiti advertising to get a better understanding of what all of that might imply.
Graffiti and murals are often understood to be acts of vandalism. Vandalism that irritates the public, draws attention and points a finger at something, ideally at social injustice. But there is also beauty and purpose to each mural and that is what makes them a form of vandalism that is not only tolerated but appreciated and lauded. And it is that same purpose which makes murals attractive for contemporary forms of advertisement. Let’s dive deep and check out our first example of mural and graffiti advertising, one that has made the news all over Europe recently.
Europe against animal testing: An example of how mural and graffiti advertising shapes discourse
Nina Valkhoff has been in the industry for over 20 years, and most of the time covers her walls with colorful and stunningly realistic representations of endangered species.
“Painting animals and flowers came naturally to me, it has always been there. And we all identify with them so easily which is beautiful.”
Earlier this year (2022), she teamed up with Dove and The Body Shop (via Basa Studio) in order to fight animal testing – a striking example of mural and graffiti advertising conveying a message that goes beyond a simple out of home campaign.
“When Dove approached me for the mural, they wanted it to look as realistic as possible, especially the eyes. This is why they thought of me, which is of course a big compliment.”
The mural’s purpose is to invite its viewers to sign a European petition against animal testing. It is a direct reaction to a controversial statement recently made by the European Chemicals Agency. For almost 10 years, the production and sale of cosmetics tested on animals have been fully prohibited in the EU, but the European Chemicals Agency recently indicated this ban was under threat, stating that certain ingredients have to be tested on animals before being used by humans.
See also: Advertising murals: how to find the right collab.
The cruelty-free market giants Dove and Bodyshop responded instantly by collaborating with Peta, Cruelty-Free Europe, HSI, Eurogroup for Animals and the ECEAE. They invited Nina Valkhoff to kick off the campaign “Europe stand with us to end animal testing” with her mural in Paris, an example of mural and graffiti advertising meant to mobilize a million Europeans to sign the petition linked to the campaign.
“I was very happy to paint this very specific bunny and I was very happy to paint a wall in Paris,”
“I changed a few things to adapt the client’s idea to my style: especially I made the bunny escape its cage. My work is very dynamic and I wouldn’t want this to change.”
CO2-absorbing paint in Austria: Examples of environmentally friendly mural and graffiti advertising
Part of the all-embracing approach was a mural by the Austrian artist Frau Isa. She worked with the CO2-absorbing paint Airlite, giving it a national premiere. The mural’s flowers, bees and bright colors are not only representative of Frau Isa’s aesthetic, they are yet another iconic example of mural and graffiti advertising which perfectly fits the narrative of social responsibility that goes hand-in-hand with the protection of species.
“My ideas usually evolve naturally, there are no such things as limits to me. I simply want to paint certain things and there is a lot of drive. Usually my clients give me freedom and a topic, that’s it. As I have established a name I get chosen for my style,”
Frau Isa explains.
A fantastic example of how social impact can be made through mural and graffiti advertising – the mural reminds people passing by not only of nature, flora, and fauna in themselves but also of the need to protect them.
Another example of mural advertising with a social messages includes the Maybelline graffiti advertising campaign for mental health awareness.
Protecting Mother Nature: Mural and graffiti advertising as a reminder to humankind
“I don’t even have to wish for street artists to stay real. This will just happen naturally as it always has.”
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