Deepashree Banerjee

Creating artwork out of air pollution...

Aditya Birla Group's World Environment Day-themed ad makes that a reality... Read on to know how...

At a time when air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in the world, creating art out of toxic air seems like a pretty good hook for any brand. The campaign titled #FilterTheFuture by the Aditya Birla Group, focuses on the adverse effects of air pollution and how it affects everything around us from heritage monuments and human health to flora and fauna. The campaign, conceptualised and executed by Tonic Worldwide, for the Mumbai-based multinational conglomerate, aims at helping consumers identify their fears for the environment and act upon it.

The campaign (marking June 5, World environment day) features four eco-conscious influencers from different walks of life - heritage enthusiast Akshay Shetty, wildlife photographer Nishank Joshi, fashion designer Jeena Gupta and environmentalist Sumaira Abdulali. Each one talks about the adverse effects of air pollution and their biggest fears for the environment.

Creating artwork out of air pollution...

Through the #FilterTheFuture concept, conceptualized and executed by Tonic Worldwide, the Aditya Birla Group has reaffirmed its commitment to the environment

At the very end of the video, each of their fears is represented in the form of sketches made with 'air ink', created by recycling air pollution emissions.

"The core of the campaign was to find the right insight as we wanted to find a hook which can let users re-look at the issue of air pollution through a different lens," says Pratik Hatankar, head - innovations and new initiatives, Tonic Worldwide as he gives us a sneak peek of the agency's brainstorming sessions.

Creating artwork out of air pollution...
Pratik Hatankar
The challenge, he says, was to awaken users to the harmful effects of pollution. "We started our brainstorming by trying to find the right insight into 'How Air Pollution affects us all'. At Tonic, we follow the process of multiple data points and the same process helped us to fine-tune the insight and select the idea. While talking to the target audience, we realised that what they really feared was the effects on things that they cherished more than themselves," Hatankar shares.

To give shape to the idea, the agency partnered with Bengaluru-based Graviky labs that uses its proprietary technology, KaalInk, to capture particulate pollution emitted from vehicles and diesel generator chimneys.

Sharing some more insight on the science-meeting-art mechanism, Hatankar explains, "Graviky's KaalInk prototype captures particulate matter emitted from direct and ambient sources. This happens without considerable back-pressure. Depending on the carbon, content pollutants from other sources are also taken in for recycling. Pollution collected by KaalInk undergoes various proprietary processes to make sure the end product is safe to use. During the final stage, the carbon is taken through another chemical process to make different types of inks and paints. The challenge was to identify what we wanted to create so that it resonates with larger audiences."

However, globally, the carbon-to-canvas concept had already made its advertising debut back in 2017 when Tiger Beer (a subsidiary of Heineken), through one of its campaigns, brought art made from pollution-derived ink to smog-filled cities across the world.

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