Seeking a New Canvas: Street Art

Mural by Beastman and Vans the Omega, Christchurch, NZ

You should always be trying to better capture and/or expand your audience. Creativity, one way of many to maximize the impact of your content, is easier said than done. Try seeking new creative outlets that you might be unfamiliar with—street art, for example.

Street art, commonly referred to as graffiti, evokes strong and sometimes negative perceptions, especially if the art is unwanted or defacing property. However, commissioning street art is evolving as a  strategy to reduce unwanted art, use as advertising space and promote projects.

Christchurch, New Zealand is quite the example of the impact of street art on a larger scheme. In 2011, Christchurch suffered a devastating earthquake that took down the city, sparing little of the central business district. The evidence, or lack of evidence, remains. There are few tall buildings left, and rebuilds are occurring everywhere.

It does not take long to observe both sides of street art no matter where you are in Christchurch. Random symbols and words cover the windows of most abandoned stores, while murals cover the sides of old and new buildings. The murals have been paid for, sponsored or at least have been intentionally created for public viewing. The messages on the sides of the building are larger, much more visible and striking than the unidentifiable strokes on broken windows.

Christchurch’s street art transcends traditional advertising and marketing tactics. The commissioned street art takes advantage of private space to create a public message, combining images and words where people might not expect to see them. Buildings continue to be painted and the recent projects have evoked local interest in national street art, through the Oi You! street art exhibition in the city center, featuring a number of influential and historical street artists.

The goals of the projects transcended each piece to facilitate more creativity and participation from the city as a whole. The abundance of street art in Christchurch is not intended to sell anything directly—it’s meant to rebuild the community through art and to evoke beauty in the destroyed, unintentionally capturing the attention of so many and marketing the city’s past, present, and future.

Regardless of whether or not painting a city fits your content strategy, seeking unique venues might just be the creative path you have been looking for. Instead of looking for the next best idea, consider looking for a place to put it.

Taylor Crouch – Marketing Assistant

Mural by Beastman and Vans the Omega, Christchurch, NZ

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