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On the Road Again

By Gil Sennett · August 23rd, 2001 · Ad Nauseam
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It's back-to-school time, consumers. High time to take a look around your highways and byways to dissect and disrespect all the latest billboards blocking our precious scenery. Since academia is grooving into gear this month, let's go ahead and assign grade values to our favorite local street-side advertisers.

A sampling:

The Cincinnati Reds: The Future is Here

Hmm. If the future includes losing streaks of up to eight games, I'm not optimistic. It is nice to see cool Major League billboards though. Makes visitors think we're a big market city, until they see the record at least. Grade: B.

Jimmy Gherardi and Trauth Dairy

Whenever cool-chef Gherardi needs cream, he looks for Trauth Dairy at his local grocer. Nice idea, using Gherardi's rising celebrity, but the bottom line is: He's not the best-looking guy. He probably shouldn't be featured on a 30-foot billboard. Grade: C.

Q102

Who is that woman? Why should I care about her? Is that Luka? Two billboards within one mile on I-75. They really want to get across the whole "today's best music without the rap" message. Insistence grade: B.

Roger's Jewelers: Drenched in Diamonds

Awful use of the color pink. Looks more like a Pepto-Bismol ad. Grade: D.

Ryan's All Glass: For All Your Glass Needs

Gee, couldn't decipher that from the name of the company.

Copywriting grade: F.

Cincinnati Symphony: Bravo Paavo

The CSO spent some serious jack (rumored to be a quarter of a million dollars) on these ads. And he's another guy that falls into the Jimmy Gherardi category. Do we really need to see Paavo's face that big? Frankly, I don't care what he looks like. It's all about the music. And hey, in concerts, all we ever see is his back anyway. Branding grade: C.

Busch Beer: Refreshing as a Mt. Airy Forest

Nice localizing. However, I've seen a lot more Burger Beer in Mount Airy than I have Busch. Know thy demographic! Grade: C.

Argosy: Everyone Loves a Winner

Lest you think subliminal advertising is dead, take a closer look at this board. Doesn't it look a lot like, "Everyone LEAVES a winner?" Subversive grade: B.

Gold Star Chili Fries

Probably not the best image to put on a billboard. Looks like a big plate of crap. With cheese on it, though. Grade: D.

Graeter's Ice Cream

Smart of them to buy the ad space just after Gold Star's big plate of crap on the Norwood Lateral. That banana split looks really good. Location grade: A.

Colin Powell = Vanilla Ice graffiti

Now that guy might be the best copywriter in town. Sadly, they've started to paint him over. Probably some rival ad agency. Originality grade: A.

The Billboards Between Kenwood and Fields Ertel Road on I-71

There are none! Do people in Mason not read billboards? Why are they the only ones not subjected to this? Envy grade: B.

Fox 92.5 and the Cincinnati Bengals: Undefeated.

Ha! How soon after the season starts will they have to replace that billboard? My guess: one week. Forethought grade: D.

The Plastic Surgery Group: You ... New and Improved

Freaky how that happens to be one of those rotating billboards. So in the middle of reading about how your face can change, the panels start turning. Also, it's one exit down from Indian Hill. That's called intentional placement, boys and girls. Shrewd business grade: B.

700WLW

They bought the former Gap space on the side of the building in east downtown, visible from I-71. I'm just happy they didn't decide to put the giant jock strap up there like their normal campaign. Smart move, marketer! Grade: A.

Dean's Milk: the Official Beverage of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Do you want that association? That's another billboard that should be gone after the first week. Loyalty grade: B +. Business acumen grade: D ­ .

Number One in Tree Health: Gregory Forrest Lester Inc.

A billboard for tree health?! How many trees did they cut down to produce that billboard? Grade: F.

 
 
 
 

 

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