A pioneer in eco-conscious design and a leader in green marketing, Cardboardesign is a company that makes furniture and home accessories out of recycled honeycomb cardboard. In partnership with an advertising agency, Cardboardesign created a promotional campaign entitled ‘The Cardboard Speaks.’ Cardboardesign developed a series of cardboard thought bubbles, which all had witty phrases like, “One man’s trash is another man’s stylish, contemporary coffee table.” These signs were then placed into stacks of cardboard that had been set out onto New York City streets for recycling.
The guerrilla campaign was a cost-effective way to promote the fledgling company and get people into their SoHo store. In addition to placing the signs, Cardboardesign snapped a series of photographs of the thought bubbles on the streets so that they could use the images for future promotions.
Cathy Henszey, Cardboardesign’s creative director, told us she was inspired by Donna Karen’s original advertising campaign. (Cathy worked for the designer when Donna Karen launched her eponymous line). For the first ad campaign, Donna Karen needed to shoot something, but she didn’t have any of the clothes made yet. So, instead of photographing the clothes, they spent three days shooting the city of New York—the company is still using images from that initial shoot today.
Like Donna Karen’s New York campaign, Cardboardesign is still using ‘The Cardboard Speaks.’ It’s an eco-friendly campaign because it is evergreen—Cardboardesign can use the photographs and the remaining signs anytime, since they aren’t specific to a season or a product. If more companies tried to think of ways to shoot an ad campaign to remain relevant for years instead of just a season, it would not only save them time and money, it would also cut down on the waste associated with producing a campaign.