Eco-solvent and vinyl 20-feet under.
When Iron-Man Triathletes arrived on the island of Kailua-Kona for their annual competition, Albert Boyce, owner of Coffees of Hawaii (coffeesofhawaii.com), knew he couldn’t miss the opportunity to market to this energy-craving, coffee-guzzling crowd. His small business, located on the neighboring island of Molokai, couldn’t afford an official sponsorship, so he took a more guerilla approach: sea floor graphics.
Printed by FastSigns in Hololulu using a Mimaki JV-3 printer and eco-solvent inks and imaging onto Kapco 14-oz. banner vinyl, simple direction signage (“Espresso Bar,” with an arrow leading the way) was weighted with dive bags attached to corner grommets and sunk into the sea.
But this wasn’t as easy a task as it sounds. Boyce’s “install” crew swam the 48 x 120-inch banner out with a surf board and then withstood “six or seven lung-busting trips” to get it placed 20 feet underwater. “There was nothing special about the ocean application—just hold your breath and don't swallow any seawater,” Boyce jokes.
The banner was installed at the start of every business day and removed every morning after service of their floating coffee bar (set up on an outrigger) was closed. The floating café was open for four days during the event.
“[The banner] was very successful,” says Boyce. “All the swimmers saw it, commented on it, and we got tons of publicity out of it worldwide.”
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