Colossal cofounders Adrian Moeller and Paul Lindahl grew up on the graffiti scene and have managed to parlay their love of painting into a vibrant business. The company's clients include clothing firms like Brooklyn Industries, as well as Rockstar Games and energy company United Technologies. Colossal has long-term leases on eight walls in New York and has set its sights on Seattle, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Moeller, also publisher of Mass Appeal for the last 10 years, says he's been able to pitch the magazine's advertising clients on handpainted walls.
Ad placements range from a month to a year, with costs from $20,000 to $100,000 a month. Moeller says he can match the prices Clear Channel, Van Wagner, and Viacom charge for vinyl: "We're competitive with vinyl for a 50' x 80' space, but on the smaller stuff, we're more expensive because our set-up charges are higher." Still, "with us, you get a PR and buzz opportunity," he says. It takes two to three days for a wall to go up; painters often work 12 to 14 hours a day, high above curious onlookers. Besides, while "New York is full of advertising everywhere you look, this is more old-school, more organic," says Moeller