Colossal Media: Here’s Their Work On One of My Favorite Projects

Dewar’s Painted Walls from Studio Number One on Vimeo.


I was first introduced to Colossal Media a decade ago by Shepard Fairey. They were the go-to then (as now) for hand painted walls aimed at hipster culture.

Bacardi was a client of mine at the time and we had the opportunity to bring Shepard in on a project to revamp Dewar’s.

  • This was before the “brown spirits” movement had gotten much mainstream traction.
  • We had, however, been noticing brown spirits catching on in hipster circles in Brooklyn, Silver Lake, Portland etc.

Shepard and Studio One did an outstanding job for the brand. His aesthetic was perfect for Dewar’s and for the hipster crowd who were driving the trend to brown spirits.

Unfortunately, turnover within Bacardi’s executive ranks short-circuited the project. The most regret I’ve ever felt for a brand I was personally working on, by the way.

  • Extremely rare to work on a project where every element is so magically in sync – from brand intrinsics and heritage to the mixology trends of the day to shifting consumer behavior (in this instance, the move away from bottle service to speakeasies).
  • Most importantly, the aesthetics and the vibe of the creative that Shepard developed for Dewar’s and which Colossal executed beautifully, were strategically aligned for the brand and the consumer.
  • Unfortunately, as is usually the case, new marketing teams want their own creative …. and that was that.
  • However, I still consider this among the best brand repositionings I’ve seen. Case study perfect!

See below for more Colossal billboards around NYC (many have been featured on the blog). And here’s a link to a recent NY Times article on the founder of Colossal Media.

Kent Avenue Brooklyn

Kent Avenue, Brooklyn (Adidas)

Kent Avenue, Brooklyn (for Delta)

Lafayette Street, Soho


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