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The power of billboards should never be underestimated. While we typically think about them for advertising purposes, they’re also an amazing tool when you simply have a statement that you need to say out loud.

Think of billboards as a way to shout your message without actually having to raise your voice.

A few owners of some GameStop stock did.

Here’s the story…

It happened thanks to the subreddit, WallStreetBets. Investors in this group talk, share strategies, and connect with fellow amateur investors. However, it’s when they decided to work together that things changed.

GameStop stock was down in early January 2021, around $40, but with the cohesive effort of WallStreetBets members, the stock’s value jumped to more than 1,700 percent. This act impacted hedge funds, who’d begun selling the stock short, trying to profit from the company’s failure.

The hedge funds began losing millions.

The plot thickened when Robinhood, an investing app, where most Redditors were buying their stock, removed GameStop from its platform. This led to a class action suit and even more issues. 

Robinhood’s act was only temporary, but the Reddit investors felt the sting of capitalism and refused to let it go.

The billboard(s)

What happened next was totally unexpected. In order to troll Wall Street, a few Redditors decided to make a statement anyone could see. They took out a billboard in Times Square, the middle of New York City.

“$GME Go Brrr” it read, poking fun at investors who couldn’t control what an army of GameStop supporters and Redditors could do when working together. 

Other billboards began popping up elsewhere across the country. In Oklahoma, a digital ad proclaimed, “We’re not leaving! GME.” In Wichita, an emoji-laden message told everyone how much they liked $GME.

Some cities saw plane banners flying overhead, giving voice to the Reddit army of stock owners. It was a busy time for outdoor advertising.

Every piece of out-of-home (OOH) advertising, made possible by Redditors own investment gains, was not even that costly thanks to the ability to buy space on digital billboards for a very limited run.

The conclusion

Although none of the billboards stayed up for long, the message was received — don’t mess with a mob of Redditors, they won’t go quietly into that good night. 

What the future will bring, when it comes to investing, Wall Street, and amateurs playing the stock market, it’s impossible to say. This new-found power could mean things happen. It could also mean that communicating via billboard is no longer just for companies with something to say.

Go big with your statement

The increase in availability of digital billboards is changing the game when it comes to OOH advertising. It’s accessible to anyone who wants to spend the money, for however long they can afford. Maybe it won’t be the last time a group of people promotes an injustice they’re facing to the public, through a giant billboard. Or maybe we’ll see more people in the wrong get called out. Or possibly, it will become harder to hide.

Regardless, it’s good to know that when you want to make a statement, a billboard is a great place for your message.

Say it loud with the right design

A key takeaway from the GameStop situation is not whether or not the billboards were effective, but why they were chosen as the statement’s medium. No matter how much technology comes about, a billboard is still the ultimate way to get a message out to a lot of people at once in a way that makes an impact.

The sheer size of a billboard takes any message and makes it “louder.” When your words stand 30 feet high, you’re saying something worth noticing. Not only that, but with the right design, your message pops even more. This includes everything from font choice to color selection.

Following a few basic billboard design tips will ensure your message speaks loudly all on its own, so make sure to:

  • Go bold with your font so it’s easier to read.
  • Keep your words to a minimum so your audience has more time to absorb your message.
  • Pick contrasting colors between your background and your font for increased visibility.
  • Use a solid background to maintain focus on the message.
  • If you’ve got a call-to-action, make sure it’s large enough on the billboard to read.

Following these steps means visibility no matter if your audience is driving or walking by. They’ll see the billboard, read it, and most often retain it. You see how much news coverage the GameStop billboards got, and they’re not even promoting anything.

Keep it professional with a professional

The GameStop stock debacle was a unique situation. People moved quickly to put up billboards that essentially stuck their tongues out at Wall Street. You, most likely, want to take a more intentional and professional approach to your OOH advertising. 

To do that, it’s best to work with someone who not only understands billboard design, but also has the right connections to get you the best billboard at the right price. When looking in Atlanta, there’s nobody better than Effortless Outdoor Media. Their years of experience mean a more honest and seamless process for you.

For the best billboard and outdoor advertisement prices, placement and service contact us now at [email protected]. We will respond within 24 hours or less. We are the best billboard company in Atlanta.

Photo sources:

Times Square Billboard: https://www.reddit.com/r/brasil/comments/l8ugyl/times_square_nesse_momento_anunciando_a%C3%A7%C3%B5es_da/ 
GameStop Wichita Billboard: https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/2013122-wallstreetbets-gamestop-short-squeeze#trending-bar