The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
Describe your project. What is it, what was the elevator pitch?
As a proud supporter of street culture and sustainability, Tiger had a bold idea: use air pollution to fight air pollution. We partnered with inventor Anirudh Sharma (Graviky Labs) to develop devices that captured carbon in the exhausts of ferries, cranes, and Tiger Beer delivery trucks. The harvested carbon was turned into safe, high-quality ink called Air-Ink that we used in a range of pens and markers. These were given to street artists and activists, who used them to create art and advertising around the globe, and we created a short film for social about the whole campaign.
What key challenges did you face with this project? And how did you overcome them?
Tiger makes beer, not pens, and especially not pens filled with air pollution. We overcame this by diving head first into the world of pen manufacturing, and became experts in ink consistencies, packaging, and much more. In addition, the Air-Ink campaign was a result of collaboration from 28 artists, 5 inventors, agency, and client across 10 countries and 8 time zones. By accepting and learning from each other, we were able to feed the influences of our different backgrounds into how we developed the Air-Ink brand.
What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project?
After seeing a video [ https://vimeo.com/87233029] of soot being turned into ink, we had no idea if the ink would work on walls or in spray cans. Especially after being captured from vehicle exhausts. The moment Anirudh gave us the first Air-Ink pen to draw with was incredibly rewarding. Another rewarding part of the project was seeing arbon emissions become art on streets of the world—almost 850 litres of Air-Ink. Furthermore, we were proud to receive global news coverage from esteemed media outlets including CNN, The Guardian, BBC, Wired, Vice and Mashable.
Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign?
Recently, the World Health Organization stated that air pollution is the world’s single biggest environmental health risk. In Asia, Tiger beer feels the impact of this every day. 62% of Tiger sales come from exposed sidewalks and outdoor venues, so this was clearly an issue that affected Tiger’s business.
When working on this project, what were some of the most important conversations you had with your team?
The most important conversations occurred early on. After seeing a video of Anirudh turning candle soot into ink, we reached out to him with our idea. Anirudh explained that he was working on a prototype to capture soot from exhaust pipes. He loved the idea of giving the ink to street artists, and together we turned the prototype into a reality.
What did you learn from working on this project that you didn't know going into it? Did anything come out of it that surprised you, or that you weren't expecting?
We learned that global campaigns need time to develop and that it’s essential to put trust in people who know better: Marketers are pretty lousy scientists; scientists know little about creating a brand. But the biggest surprise was just how well Air-Ink was received. We are now over 1 billion media impressions, have a factory in India, and are petitioning the City of London to adopt the technology on its black cabs.
Online campaigns showcasing a company's commitment to encouraging community growth and development, and to activities and programs that benefit the environment, consumers, employees, and the public.