Perhaps the coolest part of our first-ever ad campaign, “Live As You Please,” is the six-story wall mural that was just completed yesterday.

Near the intersection of Prince and Lafayette in SoHo is a side of a building whose brick was painstakingly handpainted with precision and love over a 7-day period by six “wall dogs” from the Colossal Media company of Brooklyn. Take a look:

(Click on image to see it larger)

main colossal photo

Pretty cool, huh? We are thrilled to have this wall mural as part of our multi-media ad rollout, which currently features poster placements in subways and on subway platforms. More StreetEasy ads are planned in key locations throughout the city over the next few months, so stay tuned.

Mural location

Location of mural — check it out!

But this mural in SoHo warms our hearts because it was done using an old technique: hand painting on brick by artists who call themselves wall dogs, or letterheads. These guys (and one gal!) from Colossal Media — Armando Balmaceda, Dan Harrington, Jason Jarosz, Nick Kontos, Eddie Garcia and Marcine Franckowiak — are essentially mural artists who are revitalizing the art of handpainting ads on the side of buildings. You can see evidence of this old art form all around New York City where long forgotten “ghost signs” appear on buildings up high.

Going big

The fascinating process of transforming the creative from an 8- by-11-inch piece of paper to the side of a six-floor building is achieved via several steps. It goes something like this:

  • The creative (done by Goodby Silverstein & Partners New York), is projected onto sheets of white paper on a wall in the Colossal Media studio in Brooklyn.
  • A laser outlines the shapes and inserts small holes along the entire outline.
  • The paper (26 rolls in all) is taken to the Prince and Lafayette wall where it is rolled out and leveled.
  • Charcoal is rubbed along the holes in the outline, thus transferring the outline shapes onto the wall.

The wall dogs then get to work, essentially tackling a gigantic paint-by-numbers project, except there are no numbers. In order to put the right paint color in the right spot, each painter has in their possession an 8-by-11-inch color creative so they can visually match color to space. If you look closely at the photos below, you will see how tedious a job it was. The shapes are sometimes very small and the scale very big. The effort to match each space correctly is further challenged because the worked is performed six stories high on an uneven brick surface from a scaffolding rig. About 10 gallons of enamel paint in 75 colors was used. Magnifique!

Take a look at the mural progression over the past six days:

StreetEasy ad wall

Starting with a clean canvas.


StreetEasy Ad wall

Color starts to hit the wall.

StreetEasy ad wall

Cars in parking lot below are covered from potential paint splatter.

StreetEasy ad wall

People are oblivious to the awesomeness happening behind them.

StreetEasy Ad wall

Wall dogs even worked through rainy days

StreetEasy Ad Wall

Progress begins to move down the wall on Day 3.

StreetEasy Ad wall

Marcine turns from the wall to take a break.

StreetEasy Ad Wall

Painter following the small creative and matching to 75 paint colors.

StreetEasy Wall ad

The Colossal rig.

StreetEasy wall ad

Almost done — just the StreetEasy logo is missing.

StreetEasy Ad wall

And, voila! It’s not New York if a yellow cab isn’t in the photo.

In your travels around the city, if you see an ad you like, please tweet about it on Twitter or post to your Instagram account and use the hash tag #liveasyouplease or #streeteasy. We’ll be sure to find you to retweet and like it!

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