Blog: Chris MercerNo plants were harmed to make this Banrock Station billboard

Chris Mercer | 19 August 2011

Banrock Station

Banrock Station's 'growing' billboard

Upside down plants are becoming trendy. They must be, because two cafes I know in the trendiest of trendy corners of London - Shoreditch - have installed them on their ceiling. It's probably ironic in some way; most things in Shoreditch are. How does this relate to Banrock Station wine? 

Well, last night a few of us curious hacks trekked to London's Westfield shopping centre to see Accolade Wines' 'growing' billboard for Banrock Station. Around 800 native British plants have been planted sideways on a giant billboard to create an advert for the wine brand. 

It took five hours longer than anticipated to do it, but Accolade thinks the benefits will be worth it. Around 1m people are expected to pass the billboard over the next two weeks, according to the company's research. 

When Accolade's creative types thought this up, they probably imagined a backdrop of clear blue skies, whirling swallows and hazy sunshine. Unfortunately, the British summer served up a deluge of heavy showers as we admired the billboard last night. At least it'll be good for the plants, which, by the way, shoppers can water for themselves using a cunning button situated below the billboard itself.

The whole idea is part of Accolade's plan to emphasise Banrock Station's environmental credentials (part of the Banrock Station vineyard property in Australia is certified wetlands). Accolade has signed media partnerships for the brand with the Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 online, as well as donated GBP30,000 (US$49,500) to Natural England. When the billboard is taken down at the end of August, the plants will be given to local communities.

Us journalists are playing our part, too. After a few minutes of admiring the billboard artwork, we slunk back into the Meat & Wine Co bar to boost Banrock's volume sales. Cheers.


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