Just Asking

I think it is like any other type of device. It depends on how entertaining and engaging it is. We’ve used people to throw eggs at a billboard, and it was an effective illustration of what happens when a train impacts a car. If it’s done right, it can be effective. If it is germane to the product, it can be very cool, very hip. ‘Overused gimmick’ seems a little insular; I can think of the Calvin Klein one and the Adidas one. But I’ve never driven by a live one, and I’ve lived in Minneapolis, Boston, New York and Chicago. I would be thrilled if it got to the point where we could talk about it as an overused gimmick. [When I hear about a live billboard], I think, ‘Wow, there’s a client who gets it—they’re putting something out there to excite us.’ I hope it gets more mainstream so more clients get in on the fun. —Live billboards are great for predetermined, public stages such as Times Square, but have little value and relevance in most markets. The genre is quickly becoming exhausted in these locales. The last thing any marketer wants to do is create performance art via a live billboard, and no one notices. It’s kind of that tree falls and no one hears it thing! Static billboards allow us to drive and read safely. Live billboards will cause an increase in car-insurance rates by grabbing our attention and keeping our eyes off the road. Besides that, I love them. I love ’em. I’d love to see more of them. They make great target practice.