For a long time, Ben Kohan, owners of Hilltop Cleaners in Encino, CA, had
pondered how to get customers
of upscale supermarket Gelson’s, to drive half a block further to his cleaners. The answer, he decided, was
to get right into the faces of the customers of the market, which has a
reputation for celebrity clientele and
pricey imported foods.
He commissioned four huge banners to hang on the back of the cleaner’s building adjacent to Gelson’s
“We use lots of posters and banners inside our plant to promote our services and
some of them are up to
five feet tall since we have high ceilings,” said Kohan. “But filling a 95-foot long wall is on a whole different
Turning to his marketing consultant/graphic designer, Larry Siegel, who has
helped Hilltop with branding
since 2010, it was determined that “playful” illustrations would convey Hilltop’s core messaging: name
recognition; environmentally-friendly; tailoring; and being open 24/7/365.
“Then Ben said to add some ballet graphics, too, since the cleaners leases part
of its building to a ballet
studio,” Siegel said, noting that what could have been a hurdle turned into a visual
thread that tied the
first banner to the last.
Anchoring the first 20' x18' banner with an illustration of a “retro” woman hanging clothes on a clothesline
that Hilltop had used in promotions eight years ago, the banners had elements
that linked them together:
the clothesline started in the first banner ended in the second; running dogs
and clouds appear in the
second banner and continue into the third; and ballet figures in the first
banner are the focal point in the
A huge red directional arrow on the fourth banner leaves no doubt as to where
Hilltop Cleaners is located
and that it is open 24 hours a day.
The banners were installed in late May and they are definitely having an impact,
according to Raquel
Toledo, Hilltop’s office manager. “Nearly every day CSRs tell me comments from customers relating how
the banners are attention-getting and cute. Definitely the desired result,” she said.
Kohan has advice for any cleaner with a big space to fill: “Be bold. Be creative. But, mainly, do