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Let's Colour

The paint project using bright colors to transform neighborhoods

by Maggie York-Worth in Travel on 22 April 2010

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The pet project of paint company Dulux, Let's Colour is an international outreach project in which volunteers travel to drab and dreary corners of the world and enliven them with a fresh coat of paint. "Color your world" is the tagline for the program that hopes to transform communities by the brushstroke.

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This year the Let's Colour crew has travelled to London, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and Jodhpur to find and help neighborhoods paint themselves anew. They hope to expand to other countries, including Turkey, throughout the year.

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In an interview with CH, Fernanda Romano—Global Creative Director of Marketing at Euro RSCG—talked about Let's Colour. Says Romano, the idea behind it was: "let's find locations, places around the world, they're a bit dull, a bit grey. Let's engage the local community." She adds, encouraging community involvement was crucial to succeed: "Mandating things to people feels a bit old fashioned. People want to collaborate, people create content to share with the world."

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The project turned into something more than a P.R. campaign for Romano and her team. "We really wanted to get people excited about painting and color. We really wanted to get people excited about the effect color has on you. it was about a spiritual, emotional regeneration."

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When Dulux, a subsidiary of AkzoNobel, approached Romano, they brought a video of employees painting houses in Brazil that had sparked the original concept. The company approached countries where the company has a big presence about participating in the project and found enthusiasm from the local communities.

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Romano found the response hopeful: "It was quite touching to see how much the community appreciated what was happening and how much they saw the benefit."

The Let's Colour blog documents all the locales, as well as their color choices and inspiration in each neighborhood. The project also has filmmaker Adam Berg filming the entire process. The individual video for the four places is online, and Berg has plans to release a full video of the project in the next month.

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Says Fernanda, "by showing it and being it rather than telling people to do it, it's a truer way to invite people to bring color into their own home."

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