The cool kids that marketers are hiring Project 2050 to help them reach may already have stickers and even tattoos of Creative Director Shepard Fairey's most famous and bizarre creation: a black-and-white drawing of a wrestler's face that has become known as Obey Giant.
A well-known street artist who started putting up the Obey stickers back in 1990 for no real reason (thus developing a cult following), Mr. Fairey, 35, has turned his distinctive style into graphic images for major brands like Nike, 7-Up and Sunkist. (He still goes out late at night to put up posters of his own images on the street, and still gets arrested for it.)
He is working with Project 2050's three partners, CEO Phil Colon, President Chris White and Managing Director Matt Pressman. Messrs. White and Pressman previously worked at The Source and Vibe magazines. Mr. Colon, 35, who co-founded Voto Latino last year with actress Rosario Dawson to motivate Latino youth to join the political process, started an earlier Latino youth agency, Ruido Group, in 2000. His former business partner, Roberto Ramos, continues to run a Ruido Group spin-off, Hispanic agency Latin Vox.
Still in its launch phase, Project 2050 (p2050.com) aims to help marketers target urban youth, whether Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American or cool white kids, Mr. Colon said.
One such marketer is Nextel-backed Boost Mobile. The prepaid cellphone-service provider has 1.2 million subscribers and is tapping into the youth market across all demographics. "When we have the opportunity to work with Phil and his team, we have a strong and strategic relationship," said Daryl Butler, senior manager for events and strategic partnerships at Boost Mobile. "We've asked them for help with some of the creative imagery-wild posting, street team marketing, hand-to-hand."