It’s the Sheets: A Short History of Billboard Advertising

Over the years (just which years exactly are up for debate), we’ve seen innovations in billboards from mechanical movement (smoke rings emanating from the Marlboro Man’s mouth) to 3D (Chick-Fil-A cows touching up their message thanks to paintbrushes and scaffolding) to extensions (Michael Jordan in mid-dunk, his body visible far beyond his billboards 14 x 48 confines) to engaging the immediate area for additional emphasis (Bic’s larger-than-life-size razor leaning against its billboard, appearing to have “smoothly shaved” a row of tall grass in a field).

Say what you will about these intriguing, entertaining eyesores, but as long as there are people continue to drive in cars, billboards will remain a viable, affordable marketing tool, promising high levels of frequency, 24/7/365 availability, and untold amounts of perplexity.

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