CivitasNow Creating Unique Forms of Alternative Advertising

Columbus residents may have noticed some new and unique advertising sprouting up around the city. Whether it’s the colorful chalk art at the corner of Gay Street and High Street, or a power-washed message lining the streets at Red, White & Boom, CivitasNow is bringing environmentally-friendly, unique forms of advertising to Columbus.

A little bit of luck played a hand in connecting CivitasNow co-founders Jacob Taylor and Matt Barnes. Both were finding their ways as thriving entrepreneurs in Columbus. Taylor had already started and successfully sold his own company while attending school, while Barnes was promoting his creation, Tweet and Go Seek. Taylor was deciding what was next when he attended one meeting of the one club he was still involved in at school. He went to see Barnes.

In addition to Tweet and Go Seek, Barnes had a successful marketing company, doing work with well-know names around town like Jeni’s. Even after a quick initial meeting, the two knew they needed to keep talking. Their meetings became more frequent until, as Barnes describes it, last May they decided it was time to jump ship and build a boat in the ocean.

civitas-now-columbusWhat they built is a unique advertising firm that focuses on communicating on behalf of people that know why they do what they do.

“People don’t buy what you do,” Barnes says. “They buy why you do it.”

Several pieces come together to describe why CivitasNow specializes in environmentally-friendly forms of alternative media. Barnes describes how the average person is constantly bombarded by advertisement in their observable environment, so much so that they’ve learned to block it out. Finding a solution to the problem, CivitasNow is striving to meet people where they are with non-traditional forms of advertising in unassuming places.

Their list of specialties include projection advertising, chalk art and sidewalk stencils, aqua advertising with power-washed stencils, living billboards and parking-stripe advertising. The possibilities don’t stop there.

“We’re good at placing unique media,” Taylor says. “You want to put an ad somewhere, we’ll take on that challenge.”

The goal is to not only create unique media, but make it shareable and environmentally responsible.

Taylor and Barnes see the shareability of their content first hand. During one chalk art installation, people were taking pictures before they could even finish the piece. CivitasNow keeps everything in-house, closing the gap between the creative process and the installation. Knowing that everything will be implemented by the same people who came up with the idea helps to build trust with clients.

Sustainability and environmental responsibility have become more than just a trend. All of CivitasNow’s campaigns are designed to leave a minimal impact on the environment. Some projects, like the Forager Bag, are even reversing other advertisers’ wastefulness.

Alternative media is helping to shake-up the sometimes stagnant advertising industry, but introducing such unique forms has proven to be both a challenge and an opportunity for CivitasNow. There has been a learning curve to familiarize people with new options, but adoption can reap huge benefits by getting a client’s message in front of their audience in a sure-to-be noticed way.

Columbus residents will soon spot CivitasNow’s eye-catching placements at the North Market. Other venues, civic organizations and tourist groups in Columbus have enlisted their displays, with growth into other cities on the horizon.

Taylor says advertising can feel like waving your hands in a crowd, but CivitasNow wants to come through and offer a handshake, to connect the advertiser with their client in a way they haven’t before.

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