Emirates billboard reaches new heights with MediaVest

Imagine a billboard that grows without production costs? Imagine that it generates R700 000 of PR exposure on various platforms, 25-million blog visits, 106 811 Tweets and 469 373 Facebook likes. In reality, the MediaVest Emirates Vertical Garden Billboard has done all of this with a limited budget and generated a very healthy return on investment.

Ensuring innovation on behalf of its client Emirates Airlines, MediaVest, in collaboration with NU Venture, Tractor Outdoor and Draft FCB, conceptualised a vertical wall garden in 2011. Grown on a traditional billboard, it was a first in South Africa constructed solely from wood and vegetation. The strategy saw a nondescript space in Kloof Street, Cape Town, transformed into a living breathing piece of art, 6m (high) and 12m (wide).

MediaVest Business Unit Manager Robert Notrica says; “Although it’s regionally based, the campaign has become a talking point around the country and across the web. Innovation was the key to breaking through the barriers and reaching consumers in the ruthlessly competitive and cluttered airline industry”.

Emirates prides itself on bringing its consumers memorable experiences, not only on board its aircraft, but throughout their journey. True to its brand character it therefore tasked MediaVest to create awareness of its 110 destinations by ensuring talkability and truly engaging its target audience.


Cape Town’s ‘environmental consciousness’ offered a receptive audience to the brand that ensured an environmentally friendly approach in its communication practices and business.


“The plan was to engage ‘green conscious’ consumers by showing them how Emirates connects the world through the use of environmentally friendly material and ‘grows’ its message over time,” Notrica explains.


The billboard was designed by Draft FCB with the aim of representing the earth and the contrasting vegetation colours represented the oceans over which Emirates flies. All of the continents that Emirates flies to where also represented and LED lights were used to highlight its destinations.


“The Billboard not only offered consumers a new experience, every week as it grew, but the look and feel changed from day to night with a visually startling LED World Map which lit up the trendy Kloof Street night spot,” says Notrica.


“The growing concept ignited consumer conversation on social media platforms and blogs, which spread like wildfire and ensured even further exposure for the brand,” he adds.



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