A New Kind of Advertising? It’s in the Bag.

Create a quilt out of old t-shirts. Fashion a pair of legwarmers out of your ex-boyfriend’s sweater.  Turn an old mason jar into a vase…or a candle holder…or a salad jar.

And when you’re done with all of your Pinterest crafts, dear advertiser, consider this:  turning your old billboard into a bag.

It’s true— up-cycling has become all the rage thanks to Pinterest and shows on HGTV like Trash-to-Treasure and now it seems advertisers are taking note.  A recent article on AdAge.com looked at ways brands are reusing their old outdoor ads.  Air France and Target created lines of bags using old billboards.  Sony created limited edition jeans—the sale of which generated $400,000—enough to cover the cost of the original campaign (Sony donated the profits).

It’s an interesting and possibly economically strategic move.  By up-cycling old advertising materials, these advertisers are getting great, positive press in an increasingly environmentally conscious world.  Press means more brand awareness and perhaps even campaign awareness thus extending the life of a campaign once thought over.  The extension of the campaign and reuse of materials also means a bigger return on investment–an important facet of any campaign.  Up-cycling may not be for every advertiser but big brands (think Under Armour, Coke, Nike, McDonald’s) with strong brand loyalty could truly benefit from such an endeavor.

Perhaps other advertisers should follow suit—and maybe make a suit—out of their old billboards.