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“The Lampkin”

"what's it going to take for you to be on that billboard by the end of the week?"

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Once A Week, But Never Weakly


by Nick Coston, OOH Media Buyer & Industry Agent


“The Lampkin”


It’s been years since I’ve had to pull a Lampkin. Pull what you say? I’ll explain in a bit. But you have to admit it’s a great term.

In the OOH industry, you know, billboards for anyone over 55, the buying and selling of OOH space is a treacherous game. We go back and forth, adjust the rates, add in bonus units, extend extra time, include production maybe, ride the units with the client, buy them sushi and at the last minute that contract is still hanging out there. Agencies go thru this with the clients, OOH companies go thru this with agencies. Start dates may come and go, but that contract is still not in-house. Sometimes the deals fall thru, sometimes miraculously that contract comes in right at the last minute, but always it’s a battle of the nerves.

That’s why I learned as far back as 2004, you always have one last option to close a buy, one last Hail Mary, one last 3-2 curve ball to throw that always, and I mean always works.

You pull a Lampkin.

message for Circle Graphics

Don’t worry about what the name means, that’s not important for now. What is important is that you get the deal done and the billboard runs on time. Or close to it. I probably whipped out at least 15 Lampkins as an OOH sales person then another 15 as an OOH buyer since ’04.

By now you’ve hopefully figured out what exactly a Lampkin is. It’s that last resort, that final push, incentive, arm twist, bribe, box of candy, flowers, 6 pack of Natty Bo, dirty photos or a subliminal threat to get that signed order. It’s do or die by the time you whip out The Lampkin.

Like The Exorcist, it’s the one hope, the only hope.

The Lampkin.

Just please, whatever you do, don’t say “what’s it going to take for you to be on that billboard by the end of the week?” That is definitely not a Lampkin. That’s just embarrassing and you will lose all privileges and rights to conjuring up any sort of Lampkin for years to come. You most likely will even change careers if you utter that line.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot. You probably want to know where I got the term The Lampkin from. Well, it is most definitely not related to OOH.  Not even close to anything advertising related. You see, my cousins, that’s right, my world famous Uncle Pete’s family, who lived about a mile from us had a wonderful neighbor who lived in a sweet Chicago style ranch home. You guessed it, that was the always friendly, apron wearing Mrs Lampkin. We knew her for over 25 years and she always looked like she was 65. I don’t think she had a first name, just Mrs. When times were tough, Mrs Lampkin always came thru in the clutch. Need a car when yours dies? She will sell you hers on low low monthly payments, then go buy a new one. Need some cash for a week, call Mrs Lampkin. No interest! In a bind where the kids can go after school and you’re still at work? Mrs Lampkin is home making cookies. And she will turn Batman on her TV for them.

You see everybody in their life whether it’s work or family needs a Lampkin to come in and close the deal.

They aren’t easy to find, and they should always be your last option. Like an Exorcist, when you are in that bind, hold dearly onto those Lampkins. They will save your ass because you never know when you’ll need a good used car, washed and filled with gas, or help to close that billboard deal. Lampkins are very versatile.

And please, remember to say thank you. That’s all she wants. That and a smile. Maybe take her trash out or cut her lawn too. That Lampkin might just save your job.



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