Late in 2015 Citroën told us they had a C4 Cactus Rip Curl special edition coming out and wanted us to produce a print campaign. We were stoked, thought it was rad, gnarly AND bodacious.
The tricky thing was we needed to align Citroën’s brand positioning of Be Different, Feel Good with Rip Curl’s authenticity and proper surfing creds. Not easy. And then for some reason we decided to create even more work for ourselves.
Don’t act like a hodad*
*A non-surfer who pretends to surf
So how could we showcase the C4 Cactus Rip Curl while being true to its surfing roots? We decided to make our own surfboards, complete with Citroën imagery and design. And we didn’t get just any old artists, we managed to get some proper talent. People who would make surfers salivate. They were: KOSH, Fieldey and Phil Roberts.
Recently featured in Dazed and Confused new generation of painters, KOSH has a realness and depth that can’t be faked. His hyper-real style is a rare and sought after talent. Glossy but not cheesy.
Fieldey is an Australian urban artist who custom paints street art murals, surfboards and skateboards with a cheeky retro old-school tattoo flavour. She’s well known for her popular YouTube channel — Fieldey TV.
The granddaddy of them all. A surf art LEGEND. I mean look at his stuff. Nuff said.
If The Art Is Genuine,Then Make Sure The Canvas Is As Well.
We started to get all these amazing concepts and preliminary sketches from out artists and we quickly realised that we couldn’t just plonk them on any old board. If we wanted to make the C4 Cactus shine, we needed shiny new boards to put our art on.
We contacted Adams Surfboards, a small independent board maker, right in the heart of British surf territory: Newquay. The said they could make us bespoke surfboards, that would be perfect for our finished artwork. Result. Once again, this illustrated how authentic the campaign was. Every element considered and thought through. Their shaping factory was opposite a pub coincidentally.
Hold On. We Should Be Filming All This.
So we did. There was too much great stuff going on, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to document it all. We supplied our artists with GoPros, so they could record their design process.
Why Just Stop At Print?
Our campaign was snowballing now. So we got a production company (Vince) on board to shoot at Adams Surfboards and film our C4 Cactus Rip Curl on location in Newquay. We weren’t just making print now, we were make films for Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, as well online advertising.
Don’t Forget To Shoot The Print Though. It’s Your Job.
All of this content we were generating was of course leading up to shooting our boards. Putting them in real surfing locations, not only created beautiful images but it allowed us to add some utility to our posters. Each execution contained the beach where it was shot, its GPS coordinates, the type of waves that occurred there and the swell size. We made beautiful advertising that also had a purpose.
Do It For The Kids
We’d created a multi-award winning campaign that had sold a raft load of cars**. But what now? We felt we could do one final thing. We were in possession of three desirable pieces of one-off art. And although we wanted to keep them, it’d be much more fulfilling to auction them off and give the proceeds to charity.
*not confirmed at the time of writing.
We contacted The Wave Project a group based in Cornwall, that help young adults to gain confidence and reduce anxiety through surfing, to see if they’d be interested. They were. Hooray.
We created bespoke advertising for The Wave Project, that they could use in their locale to drum up interest in our auction. That way we would be generating the most amount of money possible for this great cause.
So in the end that simple print campaign had become a complex-print-Facebook-Instagram-Twitter-Youtube-print-charity-poster-campaign. Pretty good going.