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—20 of The Best-Known Landmark Billboards

6 506

message for Lindmark INK

OOH …Here’s One Thing 

by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director,  Johnsen, Fretty & Company

“You’re the right kind of sinner
To release my inner fantasy
The invincible winner
And you know that you were born to be”

Anyone else a little tired of the clickbait that comes up on your Chrome or Edge these days?  Ya I know…”Johnsen just shut the stuff off with a quick settings change”.  But there is always something more important to do.  In any event, I saw a quick news flash as I fired up my Edge (ya I rage against the Apple and the Google machine) this past week, letting me know that the Hollywood(land) sign has just turned 100.  And it got me thinking.  Why are we humans so friggin’ passionate about certain signs?  What heartstring resides within us that will cause us to go to great lengths to make sure that a stupid sign never leaves this planet?  Weird right?  

So let’s start with a little background on the Hollywood sign.   Plagiarizing directly from Wikipedia…

“The Hollywood Sign is an American landmark and cultural icon overlooking HollywoodLos AngelesCalifornia. Originally the Hollywoodland Sign, it is situated on Mount Lee, in the Beachwood Canyon area of the Santa Monica Mountains. Spelling out the word “HOLLYWOOD” in 50-foot-tall (15.2 m) white uppercase letters and 450 feet (137.2 m) long,[1] it was originally erected in 1923 as a temporary advertisement for a local real estate development, but due to increasing recognition the sign was left up,[2] and replaced in 1978 with a more durable all-steel structure.”

“Among the best-known landmarks in both California and the United States, the sign makes frequent appearances in popular culture, particularly in establishing shots for films and television programs set in or around Hollywood.”

“The sign is protected and promoted by the nonprofit “The Hollywood Sign Trust””  

“In 1978, in large part because of the public campaign to restore the landmark by Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, the Chamber set out to replace the severely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure.”

If you would like to dive in deeper on the Hollywood sign, the full wiki is here:   Hollywood Sign – Wikipedia

Okay, so let’s pan back out.  What is it that causes us to fall in love with a sign?  Answer:  If I had the answer I would be a millionaire.  Aka I don’t have a clue.  But as someone who works alongside many that wake up and fall asleep thinking about signs…don’t you think we should have the answer?  Surely it’s not just monumental, iconic, cool, unique and at a great location that creates the passion.  There has to be an additional secret ingredient, no?  Could you imagine if your audience not only looked at your signs, but loved your signs…actually went out of your way to go see your signs?  How many ways can I say “you will own your customer”.

What is it that causes us to fall in love with a sign?

Happy Monday.  Here is your wake up call.  Pat Benatar has still got it.  Wow!


ps:  A few other heartthrobs I can think about.  I am sure I have missed many.  Please write me back at jjohnsen@jfco.com

The Citgo Sign (Boston)

The Pepsi Cola Sign (Queens, NY)

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign (Las Vegas)

Welcome to Atlantic City…Always Turned On (AC, NJ)

Uber (Formally The History Channel) (Bronx, NY)

Coca Cola Sign (San Francisco, CA…recently taken down)

Domino Sugars (Baltimore, MD)

Michael Jordan Wall (Chicago, IL)

Public Market (Seattle, WA)

Scranton The Electric City (Scranton, PA)

Piccadilly Circus (London, EN)

Tio Pepe (Madrid, SP)

Moulin Rouge (Paris, FR)

Two Times Square…before they wallpapered it with LEDs (NY NY)

One Times Square…before they wallpapered it with LEDs (Sorry Evan) (NY NY)

Coca Cola Sign (Atlanta, GA)

The Varsity Sign (Atlanta, GA)

The Nashville Sign (Nashville, TN)

Drink Coca Cola Sign (Baton Rouge, LA)

White Stag Sign (Portland OR)

….I look forward to you writing me back with a whole bunch more 🙂



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Johnsen, Fretty and Co. is an advertiser with OOH Today

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  1. Robin says

    The Chick-fil-A cows on water tower.
    Atlanta ( no longer there )

  2. John Miller says

    Thanks Jim for the Baton Rouge shout out. The Coke sign in Baton Rouge is over what was a “Soda Shop” called Liggetts. When I was a kid my folks would take us there after church.
    How about the Pensacola Beach sign ?

  3. Thomas R Thrash says

    The Coors waterfall sign in Dallas Texas

  4. Oh that is a classic that has been around a long time! Nice pick Thomas R Thrash!

  5. The Pensacola Beach sign. I am not familiar. Have a photo John Miller?

  6. No Cows no longer a classic. But at the time a winner demanding attention off the c85/75 Connector in Atlanta. Nice Pick Robin

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