U.S. Soccer / USWNT Use Clean Graffiti for SheBelieves Cup

U.S. Soccer / USWNT Use Clean Graffiti for SheBelieves Cup

Ever since our hometown (Charlotte, NC) got a Major League Soccer team (shout out Charlotte FC), we have all been feeling the soccer hype. So, when we got a call from a large agency that works with United Stated Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer), we knew were going for goal.

We worked with You Are Here Agency, a sponsorship and activation agency, on a Clean Graffiti campaign for the U.S. Soccer & The U.S. Women’s National Team’s “SheBelieves Cup” in Atlanta, GA. This tournament hosting international teams was a major moment for women’s soccer, and YAH Agency wanted to bring more attention to the upcoming game. That is where Clean Graffiti came in as the perfect advertising companion.

We ran a campaign throughout the city of Atlanta that helped drive traffic to the SheBelieves Cup website. The spots were placed in popular walking areas throughout busy neighborhoods. With a goal of general awareness, along with ticket sales, our eco-friendly sidewalk advertising became a great way to grab the attention of potential customers in an unexpected way.

More about SheBelieves:

“Inspired by the U.S. Women’s National Team, SheBelieves is a movement to encourage young women and girls to reach their dreams, athletic or otherwise. The campaign was originally launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup and has evolved into a special bond between U.S. Soccer and its fans, taking a powerful message of empowerment and that of believing in yourself into communities across the nation.”

The 2024 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, featured the USWNT, Brazil, Canada and Japan. The USA defeated Japan in a semifinal 2-1, and captured its fifth consecutive and seventh overall SheBelieves Cup title, defeating Canada 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout following a 2-2 draw through regulation. (source from U.S. Soccer website)

We absolutely love what this organization stands for. We need more empowerment, utilization of resources and encouragement for women and young girls. And we are honored to be able to have contributed to the marketing of this event with our Clean Graffiti (aka reverse graffiti).

Creative Advertising for Charlotte Marathon

Creative Advertising for Charlotte Marathon

We were honored to create a Clean Graffiti campaign for the recent Charlotte Marathon in Charlotte, NC. Using our specialized stencils, high-pressure water and dirty sidewalks, we created motivational moments for runners. Also, we gave sponsors a new opportunity for visibility.

The Novant Health Charlotte Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is a huge running event in the Southeast. Taking place throughout Uptown Charlotte and our beautiful surrounding neighborhoods, runners take to the streets on a massive physical feat. When you are running 26.2 miles, a little motivation is helpful.

In the months leading up to race day we put down “You can do this”and “Find your happy pace” motivational Clean Graffiti messages all around the Queen City. It was so awesome to hear from runners that they would come across one of the reverse graffiti images and simply smile and keep going. This eco-friendly form of outdoor advertising is a great way for sponsors, like Novant Health, to get their name out in a new and different way.

Clean Graffiti was the perfect, unexpected way to advertise for the marathon. Runners take to the sidewalks every single day to train. What better way to reach these customers than to be a motivation for them?! A marathon is a milestone race in a person’s life. It’s pretty cool that the race organizers believe so strongly in positive, motivational messages like Clean Graffiti.

Thanks to our friends at Well-Run Media for bringing us into this project. It’s wonderful to have partners who love and respect our offerings. The Well-Run Media crew is always open to fun campaign ideas for their clients.

If you are interested in running the 2024 Charlotte Marathon, you can find all the registration information here.

Clean Graffiti is Creative Marketing for Multi-Family Living

Clean Graffiti is Creative Marketing for Multi-Family Living

Our eco-friendly outdoor advertising alternative, Clean Graffiti, is such a wonderful solution for creative marketing for Multi-Family Living and other apartment complexes to spread the word about apartment availability. In a world that is flush with social media ads, billboards, magazine ads and more, our unexpected sidewalk ads bring an entirely new level of creative marketing ideas for apartment living.

Clean Graffiti, also known as reverse graffiti, is created using a specialized stencil, a pressure washer and dirty concrete. We are literally creating something out of mother nature’s waste. It’s a creative & green option for marketing departments and multi-family developers to utilize. We (The Savage Way) can tap into an untapped resource and get a message out in an unexpected way.

We’ve had the pleasure of creating campaigns for several developers, property management companies and multi-family living communities all over the country in the past decade. Below we show several examples of how these companies were able to use our eco-friendly advertising with their fun branded messaging.


Atlantic Grand Oaks Charleston
400H Apartments (Raleigh)

Abberly NoDa Vista (formerly Alta Warp & Weft Charlotte)

NOVEL by Crescent Communities:
Novel West Midtown (Atlanta)
30Six NoDA (formerly Novel NoDa)

Village at Commonwealth (Charlotte)
Providence Row (Charlotte)
Residence at Capitol View (Nashville)
Cortland Communities (Phoenix)
Scott Crossing (Decatur, GA)
Galleries at Park Lane (Dallas)
Van Alen (Durham)
Carolina Square (Chapel Hill)

Arlo Apartments

If you are looking for new ways of creative marketing for Multi-Family Living or are part of the marketing departments tasked with outreach, you know how difficult it is at times to continue to come up with unique selling tactics. Consider Clean Graffiti for your next out-of-the-box marketing idea. We can help from design to execution and can’t wait to talk with you.

How We Brought Clean Graffiti To Life

How We Brought Clean Graffiti To Life

Hello! This is Paula Bartlett, one of the owners of The Savage Way.  I write these blogs but today wanted to share the story of how we brought Clean Graffiti to life from my perspective. Enjoy.

We get asked daily, “What exactly is Clean Graffiti?” Ten years in and we’re still fortunate enough to explain this disruptive outdoor advertising medium to people. And it’s just as exciting every time! However, I don’t think we’ve ever shared how Clean Graffiti came about for us. So here is the story of how we brought Clean Graffiti to life.

Prior to The Savage Way, Torrie worked in the marketing and advertising industry. She spent 10 years in media buying for a few different employers. She was responsible for managing budgets and getting as much unique exposure for her clients as possible. So her brain was always thinking in ads; looking at billboards, magazine ads, bus ads, etc. Well one day she was pressure washing the driveway at her parent’s house and free-handed the name “Savage.” (pressure washing the dirt away to leave the “cleaned” letters showing). Immediately her brain thought, “That would be a great ad, but it would have to be crisp and follow brand standards.”

She did what we all do when we have an idea and Googled it, sure enough, there was an artist in Europe (Paul Curtis aka Moose) who was pressure washing art onto old, dirty walls. The results were beautiful. Using mother nature to create art was a revolutionary idea to her. Fast forward a few years, The Savage Way started. At the time we were a marketing agency helping clients with social media, business openings, community engagement, etc. Torrie casually mentioned this sidewalk advertising idea to me one day and I said, “What are we doing?! This is incredible. Let’s do that!” Immediately we started researching and trying to see how we could bring this idea to life. I remember countless late nights in Torrie’s loft in the NoDa neighborhood in Charlotte, NC where we would just dream and talk about how we would do this out-of-the-box idea.

But before we could even work out all the details, an opportunity knocked on our door. We were introduced to a marketing legend in Charlotte, Blair Primis. He was the VP of Marketing for a privately owned orthopedic surgeons office. Blair was open to new ideas and always looking for ways to make his brand stand out. And I’ll never forget sitting down with him to pitch some ideas and seeing the light in his eyes and smile on his face when we told him our idea. “Genius,” he said. “I want the biggest option you’ve got.” WHAT?! To have someone believe in your idea when you haven’t even physically done a campaign yet… it was the exact boost that we needed.

We left that meeting saying give us a few months to figure this thing out and we will be ready to go. Torrie and I worked with such passion and excitement to bring this idea to fruition. When the day came to see our stencil (the first iteration) being pressure washed onto the sidewalk, we did a little happy dance. This was real. Clean Graffiti was a thing. A major brand was paying us to advertise on this untapped asset that Mother Nature created. It was all so thrilling.

No one tells you how tricky it is to start a business that is disruptive to the space. No one was doing what we were doing and it was a lot of trial and error to land where we did. To say we were green was an understatement. We went through so many iterations of the stencil, how we selected spots, how many spots to offer, and how to price this service no one knew they wanted. But selling this to clients was something that Torrie did have experience in. Her decade of media buying allowed us to know what a client would be looking for. It gave us insight into crafting these packages that could compete with billboard buys and other outdoor advertising opportunities.

So we kept going and focused on selling Clean Graffiti to clients. Along the way we have carved our own path and had the chance to really grow this industry. One of our European counterparts, Jim Bowes, happened to be in Nashville, TN early on and made a road trip from Charlotte, NC to chat with him on his experiences doing “Reverse Graffiti” (what he called it). It was so fun to talk shop with someone who got it and was dealing with similar hurdles. Read more about it in our blog from 2014. I never thought in a million years that Torrie and I would be strategically cleaning sidewalks for a living. Haha – it makes us laugh every time that we see dirty concrete, “Oh, thats a fantastic canvas!”

That was over ten years ago. Since then, we’ve completed work in 70+ cities across the US including Los Angeles, CA, Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA, New York, NY, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Baltimore, MD, Austin, TX, Houston, TX, and countless other cities and towns across the country. We’ve worked with companies/brands like Diet Coke, The Rolling Stones, Carolina Panthers, Truist Bank, The ACC Tournament, Novant Health, county & state agencies and so many more.

Now you may be asking why do our clients use Clean Graffiti? There are a myriad of reasons, but a few to note:

  1. Unexpected: In our overstimulated world, seeing a message on the ground is novel and captures attention.
  2. Longevity: Spots can last from one month to over 6 months, depending on the type of dirt, weather, traffic, etc.
  3. Creative: Using dirt to create a brand message is so far out of the norm that it doesn’t fit in a box.
  4. It’s Just Water: Our medium is eco-friendly in that is is made just using water – no paint, acid, bleach or etching.
  5. Temporary: Clients love it for an event-driven ad campaign where we remove the spots after the event date.
  6. Impactful: The sidewalk is an untapped resource that allows for brand awareness, inspiration or event-driven info where it’s never been before.

We always love telling the story of how we brought Clean Graffiti to life. We believe in this medium and know that our innovation is sparking creative ideas and sending out inspiration all of the time. We’re ready when you are to clean some sidewalks!

Creative Uses of Clean Graffiti

Creative Uses of Clean Graffiti

We love all of the creative uses of Clean Graffiti that we can offer our clients. From general brand awareness campaigns to feel-good inspirational messages on the sidewalk, the possibilities are vast with this medium. We wanted to showcase a few of our favorite creative uses from over the years. Maybe this will inspire your next campaign with us.

For those that don’t know, Clean Graffiti is an advertising and messaging medium that The Savage Way has been offering for over 10 years now. We’ve been in 70+ markets across America and we continue to be the leaders in the U.S. in this space. Also known as Reverse Graffiti, Clean Graffiti is created using a stencil, pressure washer and naturally dirty sidewalks. We use high-pressure water to clean a message onto the sidewalk. We are not painting, spraying any chemicals or altering the integrity of the sidewalk in any way. It’s just water. 🙂 Check out some frequently asked questions here.

Now on to the creative uses of Clean Graffiti that we have loved over the years.

Tend Dentistry: New York City: The folks at Tend Dentistry in the Flatiron District in Manhattan came to us with this cheeky play-on-words that we could make into Clean Graffiti. The fact that we are both just cleaning away dirt (aka plaque) was just perfect. Love when brands can get playful and fun with their advertising.

OrthoCarolina: Multi-cities in North Carolina: OrthoCarolina had been a client of ours for a while and we had done tons of branding campaigns together (check out past project blogs for more details).  However, as a group of private orthopedic surgeons who specialize in fixing broken bones, we thought of this clever “Watch Your Step” Clean Graffiti campaign. The idea was while we were out executing campaigns and we saw dangerous, broken sidewalks, we would put down this safety message for pedestrians or cyclists brought to you by OrthoCarolina. Just a subtle reminder that *if* you did need a bone specialist, you would know who to call.

(Left) Greenpeace #IStand4Solar in Charlotte, NC: The global non-profit, Greenpeace, asked us to create an impactful Clean Graffiti campaign for the Charlotte market. We wanted to do something that was not only a directive (stand here and notice) but told the passerby to use on social media (using the #). We saw great interaction with the Clean Graffiti which led users to learn more about the Greenpeace mission – to use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

(Right): NC Department of Transportation, Watch For Me Campaign in small beach towns in NC: This was a campaign that we ran for several years that focused on pedestrian and cyclist safety, Watch For Me NC. We put these down across coastal beach towns that saw a huge influx of tourists in the summer months. The NCDOT gave us specific data that pinpointed where vehicles crashed with pedestrians that either ended in an accident or fatality. There are such limited advertising opportunities in these small, rural towns, so Clean Graffiti was not only a viable option, but it was welcomed as an opportunity to actually make meaningful communication with the community.

(Left) Not Just Coffee, Charlotte, NC: Not Just Coffee is a locally-owned coffee shop that came up the same time that The Savage Way did. We are friends with the owners and we pitched them the idea of Clean Graffiti with a play-on-words with their name. We know that everyone LOVES coffee and social media posts with anything coffee related always got great engagement, but NJC was so invested in the community that they were more than just a place to grab coffee. We came up with “Love People, Not Just Coffee.” Genius. We partnered with local artist, Matt Hooker, to help with the creative and this beautiful message was born!

(Right): #ExploreYour704 NoDa Brewing, OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, NC: #ExploreYour704 was an intricate idea that we came up with that included a Clean Graffiti “Scavenger Hunt,” huge mural on the side of a brewery, multiple vendors and a big launch party that encouraged walking. To say this was an unusual case study is an understatement. In fact, doing a Clean Graffiti scavenger hunt is not something we even offer, but we are obsessed with how we used dirty sidewalks to create a movement game, celebrate the city we live in and bring awareness to our clients at the same time. Read more about it in the blog.


So that’s a quick snapshot of some of the creative uses of Clean Graffiti over the years. Check out our instagram for more examples. We look forward to creating more marketing magic using our eco-friendly advertising alternative.

RAIN CLT Uses Clean Graffiti for 2023 AIDS Walk

RAIN CLT Uses Clean Graffiti for 2023 AIDS Walk

Our friends at RAIN CLT utilized Clean Graffiti to help bring awareness to the upcoming AIDS Walk Charlotte event happening Saturday, May 6, 2023. We love to see organizations and companies use Clean Graffiti to help get a public health message out to the community. In fact, it is one of our favorite ways to use this medium. We are able to target an audience where they are walking and give them an unexpected message of encouragement or bring awareness to an event.

Clean Graffiti, aka pressure washed message of "Stomp Out Stigma. AIDS Walk Charlotte" on Charlotte, NC city sidewalk by The Savage Way.

The AIDS WALK brings the Charlotte community together to “stomp out” HIV stigma and raise funds for RAIN CLT. According to the RAIN website, “Every dollar raised stays in Charlotte to support the services and programs RAIN provides to people living with HIV and those at risk. For 31 years, RAIN has been empowering persons living with HIV and those at risk to be healthy and stigma free.”

AIDS WALK Charlotte continues to be the largest HIV fundraising walk in the Carolinas and since 1997 has raised over $3.3 million. That’s incredible! Stomping out the stigma when it comes to sexual health and HIV / AIDS awareness is so important and we are honored to be a part of helping to spread the message. The walk is roughly two miles long and takes the average person around 30 minutes to complete. This family affair fundraiser is open to all.

Location: Wells Fargo Atrium & Plaza, 301 S. Tryon Street
When: Saturday, May 6 9am – 12pm (Rain or shine)
Register: Here

Please check out the amazing work of RAIN CLT and make sure to sign up for the walk this weekend!

Reasons To Use Clean Graffiti for Advertising

Reasons To Use Clean Graffiti for Advertising

Clean Graffiti is a service that The Savage Way has been offering for almost 10 years now, and everyday we still explain it to someone for the first time. When you have created a new way to do something, this is an inevitable reality. We wanted to breakdown exactly why Clean Graffiti is a great option for clients looking to spread the word about their business.

Also known as “Reverse Graffiti,” Clean Graffiti is ideal for clients who are looking for innovative brand awareness, spreading the word of an event-driven initiative, or looking to increase their Corporate Social Responsibility. Clean Graffiti is the perfect addition to your traditional media buy because we are able to directly target your customer with an untapped resource – the sidewalk. And best of all, it’s just water – no paint, no chemicals, just water.

Seriously, let’s break it down. This is why Clean Graffiti is an amazing out-of-home marketing opportunity for your clients.

It’s Just Water (aka Eco-friendly Advertising)

Yes, it really is created simply using high pressure water and dirt. It is an eco-friendly alternative to other outdoor advertising opportunities (think billboards, bus stop ads, posters, etc). Using a pressure washer and a technologically advanced stencil, our team sprays the water on top of the stencil and leaves a clean message on a dirty sidewalk. That’s it… no chemicals, no bleach, no acid, no paint… just water! Check out this video to see a glimpse into the process.

Targeted Marketing

Clean Graffiti allows you to target your customer exactly where they are walking – the sidewalk. In this social media-crazed day-in-age, everyone is already looking down at their phone, why not leave an unexpected message on the sidewalk to drive your brand home? We always get the question of ROI. We wish we had a way to tell you exactly how many eyeballs are on your ad, but much like postering or other guerrilla style marketing efforts, we can give you a ballpark. Our team is experienced in marketing & advertising and our Founder did Media Buying for 10 years before starting The Savage Way. We know where the people are walking in these hot neighborhoods that will give the best reach for your campaign.

It’s Innovative

When you are buying media for yourself or a major client, they are always asking for the next best opportunity to get their name out there. They want to “go viral” which translates to being seen by their customers. Clean Graffiti is a great medium to pitch to your clients. It’s innovative and different and let’s them get their name in a place they have never been able to before – the sidewalk! Especially when reverse graffiti is a part of a larger media plan, we find that this non-traditional advertising purchase works so well.

Guerrilla Marketing at its Finest.

We always joke that we never thought we’d be strategically cleaning sidewalks for a living, but here we are! We get to operate in a gray area and that allows us to get creative with placements. By all means we respect the public space and are always mindful of the message in regards to the content and the actual placement (aka – we would never put a media spot directly in front of a competitor). We know that we are a new medium for people and we are always looking to partner with cities and county boards, not piss them off. Because at the end of the day we are simply taking something OFF the sidewalk. 😉

Get Creative with Branding

Clean Graffiti is a great way for companies to have some fun with their branding. We always encourage a message that is fun, witty or will make a person stop and smile. A supreme example of this was a campaign we pitched to an orthopedic surgeon’s practice where we found broken or uneven sidewalk squares and put down a “Watch Your Step” Clean Graffiti message. It was just genius – helpful to the public AND brought to you by a client who could help you if you DID fall.

Create Organic Third-Party Content

This type of unexpected messaging under your feet is an excellent example of an advertising campaign that someone will take a picture of and post to their own social media. When is the last time that someone took a picture of your client’s billboard or bus ad?? Not that often! But Clean Graffiti is cool, eco-friendly and *hopefully* a fun, lighthearted message that simply helps spread brand awareness. That organic third-party content is something that you just can’t pay for normally!

The Savage Way Team is Experienced

We have been blessed to work with so many amazing clients. Here are some of the highlights: The Rolling Stones, Talkspace, Diet Coke, Bud Light, Novant Hospital, Atrium Health, Mecklenburg County, Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, The ACC Tournament, Clean Juice, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte FC, Lululemon, MetroHealth Cleveland, Whistlepig Whiskey and many more.

Cost Effective Out of Home Advertising Alternative

We get it. Billboards and bus ads are expensive. It is a costly investment for a 1 month run of an ad on a typical billboard opportunity, especially if you request a high-visibility board. That is what makes Clean Graffiti a fantastic alternative. Clean Graffiti gets you RIGHT under the feet of your target market for a fraction of the cost. And best of all, our spots can last anywhere from 1 month to 8 months.

How A Campaign Looks

Campaigns can all be customized but a typical package is 1 specially designed stencil, 10 Clean Graffiti media placements within a 1-2 mile radius in a targeted neighborhood/city. Our team executes end-to-end and then we provide a full recap with maps, list of locations and photos for social media use. We operate all over the USA and have been in over 75 cities. Our team is experienced and can travel almost anywhere for a job.

We find that the best practices for a Clean Graffiti campaign include using the medium for brand awareness with a funny/witty/eye-catching message. No one really likes to see just a logo on the ground. Making note that way-finding can be tough – it has to be the most perfect concrete and there is no guarantee it will be dirty on the corner to show an arrow (make sense?). We find that flexibility and trust in our team always makes the end product better for the client.

So now that you know the ins and outs of a Clean Graffiti campaign, hit us up when you are ready to finally do something different!