How Street Art In Chicago Has Become a Powerful Form of Marketing

Chicago street art
Long before millennials had an impact on any major metropolis, companies found success in billboard ads. As time went on, advertising through social media became a great way to market your business. Both of these strategies still apply in today's market, but the results have now started to vary. This is because everyone sees these things on a regular basis. So much so that we tend to tune them out after a quick glance.


So What Now?

Since there is pretty much no way to track actual data from billboards and everyone that has a business is already promoting it on social media, a new attention grabber formed. Companies found a way to set themselves apart from their competitors. Within the old billboard tactic and overpopulated social media trend, came a new hybrid. Marketing through murals, in this case... Chicago street art.





How it Works

Here's an example of a home run marketing idea using the power of Street art. A few years ago, West Loop eatery, Federales tried a creative approach to drive new business. After contacting Chicago artists Czr Prz & Jenny Vyas, the idea to create an interactive mural was born. This wasn't a monthly payment like a billboard or social media ad. This became a one-time transaction that kept bringing business to their location over and over again. Where's the proof in all this? Here you go!!!



 Although this post is now a few years old, the artwork still to this day gets weekly check-ins and photos. We're looking at over 300 (and counting) residual social shares occurring long after this mural was created . It all began with locals visiting the business. Then as word continued to spread, tourists spotted the wings online and wanted to get their selfie fix in. You see what's happening here? You now have people going out of their way to go to a business. After taking the journey to capture just the right photo, you might as well grab some food & drinks at the place you're now at. Many of them do too, along with their friends. We estimate this mural paid for itself just after a few months, with a nice profit after a year. As mentioned above the wings are now a few years old. However, the last time they were shared online was just a few days ago!



Creative Branding

It's not just about wings though, it's about creative branding and in some cases giving a talented artist, like LIE a place to put his next outdoor masterpiece. As you can tell from the photo above, international brands such as, Christian Louboutin have already caught wind of this strategy. Just a few months back in Chicago, artist Rawooh was called upon by the massive hotel brand Sofitel to create a unique branded mural.



Were they testing the waters with this new marketing approach or did they understand the power of street art? I think you may already know the answer. Here's some other noteworthy examples of Chicago street art used to cross promote a business.



AntBen collaboration with Damen Tavern

Rawooh collaboration for Soho House Chicago


It seems at this point any brick and mortar business located within a city, that allows walk-in traffic, now has an opportunity to get their name out to new customers with public art. All that's required is selecting the right artist for the job. To further solidify the conversation we're leaving you with an unbiased opinion from Bloomerg


"Nobody takes a photo of a billboard. When it's hand-painted people pay attention to it. Not just the final product, but also the process of making it. There's a spectacle to it. And the beautiful thing is that because people do take photos of it, it lives a second life online."

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