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Summer sun equals blistering temperatures and skyrocketing energy use as people turn up the air conditioning to cool down. Helping tackle the heat, a new ad campaign by Coors Light switches from billboards to 'chillboards' to highlight the benefits of covering roofs in reflective white paint. By reducing absorption of the sun's rays, white roof coating can lower surface temperatures by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
For its 'advertising campaign that no one can see but everyone can feel,' the beer brand worked with mural artist Andaluz to design a typeface that would cover as much surface area as possible — as much as 95% of a rooftop — and maximize the cooling effect of its ads. Andaluz and his crew painted 12 Miami rooftops in 6 days, covering a total of 36,000 square feet and helping cool down 96 apartments. The chillboards all feature different messages that highlight their cooling effect, like "This ad chills internally" and "Refresh your roof."
Coors Light is also giving consumers the opportunity to lower the temperature of their own homes — it's giving away 5,000 gallons of reflective white paint via Instagram and Twitter.
Dark asphalt and concrete soak up solar radiation. Add in increasingly hot summers, and it's no wonder that urban heat islands are getting worse. The burden isn't evenly spread, either: less tree cover in disadvantaged neighborhoods means low-income residents are hit hardest, enduring far higher temperatures than people who live in wealthier, more verdant areas.
Similar to murals sponsored by Absolut and Converse that gobble up air pollution, chillboards by Coors Light use advertising to make a positive, physical change that can benefit human and planetary health. While individual campaigns won't make a huge difference, they combine to create awareness and build momentum for large-scale solutions.
(Thinking of rolling out something similar for your brand? Limit the rooftop whitening to cities with mild or warmish winters: reflective paint can reduce beneficial wintertime solar radiation to such a degree that increased energy usage for heating surpasses energy saved in summertime air conditioning.)
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