'Three Billboards' Inspires More Billboard-Based Advertising
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is the story of a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who takes matters into her own hands by putting up three billboards (hence the name) to question local law enforcement when it doesn't adequately investigate the murder of her daughter.
It's not an uplifting tale, and it's not a story you'd immediately think of as inspiring memes. But, that seems to pretty much be what's happened, as it's helped make billboard advertising a popular medium again—good news for large-format printing companies.
And Outdoor Advertising Association of America designed billboards to celebrate the movie's use of billboards (albeit in horrific circumstances) and cheer for the filmmakers during 2018 awards season.
"As long-time billboard ambassadors, we felt this was a great way to highlight the simplicity, relevance and effectiveness of the outdoor medium," Rob Jackson, creative director and principal of Extra Credit Projects, the company that designed the billboards, told M Live.
The billboards appeared in high-traffic areas like Los Angeles, Times Square and the "Three Billboards" filming location in North Carolina. They all said "This Billboard Deserves an Award." After the movie gained some awards hype, people started seeing "Four Golden Globes Outside Hollywood," and "This Billboard Deserves an Oscar."
"This illustrates billboards as cultural currency," Robinson said.
The billboard craze isn't limited to advertising the movie or the practice of billboards itself, either. It's found its way into the sports world, as Cleveland area natives noticed three billboards attempting to lure LeBron James to the Philadelphia 76ers.
It's an interesting phenomenon, for sure: A depressing subject inspires lighthearted acts of guerrilla advertising. But, it could definitely be seen as spinning something negative into something fun and positive. And for distributors selling large-format printing and signage, it's a good sign.
(Editor's note: While I'm glad LeBron is supposedly interested in the Sixers, I don't think the move would be smart. Email me if you want to fight about it.)