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Mercedes-Benz goes 'green' with a living billboard
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network2media Bureau   
Monday, 27 February 2012 09:00 (IST)
Mercedes-Benz, Net#work BBDOCAPe TOwn: Net#work BBDO has unveiled another eco-billboard in its ground-breaking series for Mercedes-Benz's BlueEFFICIENCY range – and this time, it's painting Cape Town 'green' with a living wall.

Another 'Green' initiative The 'Green Emissions' billboard is currently turning heads at the V & A Waterfront, where it occupies a lengthy section of wall. It consists of printed Mercedes-Benz vehicles, with living growing plants emanating from their exhausts to completely green over the rest of the hoarding. It makes the point that thanks to BlueEFFICIENCY, Mercedes-Benz emissions are as green-friendly as you can get.

A closer look It was conceptualised by Net#work BBDO's very own Chumani Mtshontshi, under the expert guidance of creative directors Bruce Anderson and Robert Rutherford. Mtshontshi is currently completing an internship with the award-winning agency. For such an innovative idea to be conceptualised by a young intern, highlights Net#work BBDO's continuous commitment to developing fledgling talent within their own walls.

This is the second instalment in Net#work BBDO's innovative outdoor campaign for Mercedes-Benz, which aims to effectively communicate the brand's leading-edge, planet-friendly technology. The vehicle maker's BlueEFFICIENCY line features a range of energy-saving innovations to lower fuel consumption and reduce carbon-dioxide exhaust emissions.

The first billboard at the OR Tambo International Airport The first eco-billboard, erected at OR Tambo International Airport, was treated with an impurity-capturing substrate that was gradually altered by pollution from passing traffic to reveal the payoff line: 'If more cars had BlueEFFICIENCY, you wouldn't be able to read this.'

The vertical garden or "living wall" concept involves installing a light steel grid up against a vertical surface, into which recycled plastic bottles are inserted and filled with soil, plants and flowers.

In 1988, French botanist Patrick Blanc installed the first vertical garden at the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris. Twenty-one years later, this type of garden was voted one of the top 50 inventions of all time by Time magazine.

The system has many benefits: it fosters recycling, beautifies urban environments, absorbs more of the carbon dioxide that chokes cities, absorbs sound, is water-efficient, sustains biodiversity, discourages graffiti and is perfect for use in arid conditions.

Anderson, Rutherford"Marrying this remarkable living wall concept with Mercedes-Benz was a natural fit. It helped that our client's product includes a technology as environmentally conscious and forward-thinking as BlueEFFICIENCY," say Anderson and Rutherford.

Net#work BBDO is no stranger to green advertising: the agency made waves five years ago when its solar-powered billboard for client Nedbank won a Grand Prix at Cannes in the outdoor advertising category.

Net#work BBDO is run from their creative base in Johannesburg by Rob McLennan (executive creative director), Boniswa Pezisa (chairperson), Joy Turnbull (deputy managing director), Graeme Jenner (deputy executive creative director) and Tanja Rae (executive electronic producer).

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