• 06.04.14

This Floating Billboard Is Cleaning Up A Polluted River in Manila

A Japanese natural cosmetics company puts its money where its environmentally conscious brand message is.

20 years ago, Manila’s Pasig River was considered biologically dead. But there is a campaign to rehabilitate the waterway that cuts through the city and now a Japanese natural cosmetics brand is using a creative billboard to lend a hand in the cleanup efforts.


Recently we’ve seen a water-cleaning book and an air-purifying billboard in Peru, but here, Japan’s Shokubutsu Hana, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Vetiver Farms Philippines, and agency TBWA\SMP teamed up to create a floating billboard to soak up pollution and discourage people from throwing trash in the river. It was made using vetiver, a type of grass that can absorb toxic materials and help to reduce pollution. Spelling out “Clean River Soon,” according to the brand the installation is capable of cleaning between 2,000 and 8,000 gallons of water every day.

There are more billboard planned for other parts of the river, helping to clean up and show that outdoor ads can be much more than eye pollution.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.