truth x Vans by Kevin Lyons

Smoking rates in the South continue to dwarf those in the rest of the country, especially among teen smokers.

Gallup and Healthways say this statistic has remained unchanged since they began tracking tobacco use in 2008. truth, the nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing teen smoking and encouraging smokers to quit, approached California agency 72andSunny to install a mural in the heart of tobacco country.

The agency selected Raleigh, a growing southern creative hub that still suffers from higher-than-average rates of tobacco use, as the location for the mural.

Since the agency is located across the country, 72andSunny reached out to us to help facilitate the mural’s creation and to film the story along the way. Thankfully—and coincidentally!—our media strategist, Jedidiah Gant, runs an arts initiative called the Raleigh Murals Project, and took the lead on scouting locations and resources for the mural.

After a week’s worth of scouting, we selected a 20 x 40 foot wall on the side of a pizza joint, about a half mile from the heart of downtown Raleigh.

kevin lyons monsters mural truth vans authentic

The mural was painted by Brooklyn-based artist Kevin Lyons, a former creative director at Anomaly and global CD at Urban Outfitters. It included Lyon’s famous “Mischievous Monsters,” shouting phrases sourced through social media by teens across the country in support of truth’s award-winning “Finish It” campaign.

The artwork came to life over the course of 4 days, with Myriad filming all the while. Unfortunately, the weather refused to cooperate, especially on one particularly tricky overhead drone shot. Producer Shawn Lamons hung tough as her crew had to build out a tarp to shield Kevin from the rain, which cut down on what the crew was able to film.

Plus, some of the paint ran the night before the last day, so we had to enlist the help of another artist to run damage control. With the help of local artist David Eichenberger, the team was still able to create the mural right on schedule.

We handled editorial, grading and sound design in-house for two spots (:30, :15) and seven Vines within two weeks, bringing the total project timeline, including the mural, to one month.

After the completion of the mural, Vans announced the creation of a limited-edition shoe, which would be sold in Vans and Journey’s stores nationwide. During the launch, the spot of Lyons creating the mural was shown nationally across Journey’s in-store television network, and digitally through truth and Vans’ social media accounts.

The project accrued more than 100,000 likes and shares in less than a week. Racking up over 50,000 views on Youtube, 520,000 on Instagram and 1 Million loops on Vine, the campaign was selected as an Editor’s Pick in Creativity Magazine, and also featured in Shoot Magazine, HYPEBEAST, and Skateboarding Magazine.

“From the beginning, we knew we had a challenging budget that many traditional vendors and outlets wouldn’t be able to support and accommodate. Do we find paid media space to help create the mural and hire a separate crew to shoot and edit?  How many building owners could we get access to in the short amount of time to secure mural space?

In the midst of these questions and sourcing alternative solutions, we were incredibly lucky to have a word-of-mouth lead in Raleigh through one of our Creative Director’s acquaintances; which quickly led us to Myriad Media. What we really enjoyed about Myriad was for such a multi-tiered and complicated project, they never once expressed any ounce of limitations or hesitations.  It was always very ‘all hands on deck’ and anyone that had a good idea or lead was able to voice it. They were wonderful collaborators and problem solvers; and we felt well taken care of every step of the way. Just clutch.” —Art Producer Diana Pam, 72andSunny