How to Organise a Reverse Graffiti Advertising Campaign

How to Organise a Reverse Graffiti Advertising Campaign

So, you may have seen these interesting adverts cleaned into the pavements of your local city or town..? Fairly innovative? Catch your eye? Something a little different.

I use to charge about £1000 for a campaign in Cardiff or up to £2000 for a campaign in other cities around the UK. Businesses across the country providing reverse graffiti or clean advertising services are regularly charging more than this.

So what would you say if I could show you how to run your own campaign for a cost of around £350 and a little bit of effort?

This blog post will demonstrate step-by-step how to run your own reverse graffiti / clean advertising campaign in any location you want. I will tell you, from my own experience, what makes the best stencils for the job, point you towards the best suppliers for materials, which surfaces take best to this form of advertising and I am on hand to answer any further questions you may have!

Ok, so if you are thinking about doing some reverse graffiti advertising I’ll take it that you know where you would like to advertise so the next stage is the design of the advert…

When designing an advert for this medium I would stick with large bold images and minimum text. The main reason for this is that you want the images to stand out in sometimes crowded places where your message will get the most exposure. It is also sometimes difficult to get clear images on the desired surfaces, larger images are easier to clean into the surfaces as apposed to detailed smaller images or text. So larger images allows you to get your advert in more places.

Good Reverse Graffiti Images

reverse graffiti

reverse graffiti cardiff









The strawberry came out really well on the pavements, it was bold, easily noticeable and visible on many surfaces, likewise The Hard Rock advert was simple and recognisable.

It’s important to think about this before planning your campaign as there are constraints to this advertising medium so you have to be aware of these to make best use of the reverse graffiti technique. I know that some advertisers have run text response campaigns about town but unless the campaign is highly targeted with a captive audience I would stay away from this tactic.

a) because it looks messy
b) you are catching most of your audience on the go and they will just want to look and move on. Yes they will probably think, ha, thats’s a cool way to advertise and some will even stop and stare for a while but most will be in a rush.

The Stencil
I think the best stencils are the aluminium stencils from the Smart Group. They are light, strong and reasonably priced. The plastic (mylar) stencils are a bit of a pain to use and get blown about. Stainless steel stencils are strong but heavy and expensive. So pick up your stencil from The Smart Group and you are sorted. You just need to supply them with the design in vector format (AI or EPS file).

As for size of stencil this genrally depends on the campaign but most standard campaigns are about 900x700mm or 700x500mm. A stencil like this should cost no more than £150 all in.

Man with a Van and a Pressure Washer and a Water Container
Just look up cleaning services and pressure washer services on Google and the other usual places like Yell. Look for providers situated in the area you would like to run the campaign. These guys generally clean driveways, buildings, maybe windows etc. A campaign of about 30 impressions should take around 3 hours once you are on location I think around £200-250 is a reasonable price for a night time 3 hour campaign.

You will need to find an independent cleaner to keep it cost effective as the bigger boys will send one of their employees out and costs go up considerably. I would meet or have a good conversation with the cleaner guy first, make sure they have a good pressure washer, it should be petrol or diesel engine (petrol is better as you will prob being doing this in the night and they are a lot quieter than the diesel engines). Make sure you trust them and I would go out with them to do the campaign.

So just make sure they have a powerful petrol powerwasher and can carry at least 500 Litres of water with them on the van. A hot water washer is even better as you can get rid of chewing gum which can sometimes spoil the image. Once the job is done either pay them in cash or request a standard 30 day invoice.

The Surfaces
You will find that you may not be able to get a decent image on many surfaces such as the heribone style red brick paving.  The standard grey concrete slabs are always good for producing an image, however, many other surfaces will be fine. The surface obviously needs to be really dirty too! If unsure just check by spraying a small area near to where you want the advert.

Remember to take photos of all the adverts you create and if you want you can input these into a Google map at their exact locations, a great way to keep reference of your campaign!

So now you should be able to organise your own standard reverse graffiti / clean advertising campaign to promote your organisation or cause.  Soon I will write another blog post on how to run a really GREAT reverse graffiti campaign.

I hope you find the information useful! Why not give it a go and tell me how it went 🙂

All the best,