Wednesday, September 3, 2008

b is for billboard

I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree. Indeed, unless the billboards fall, I'll never see a tree at all.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971), american poet

generally I hate billboards as I consider them eyesores, but sometimes I run across one that really tickles my fancy. this is the case with the above billboard, since it features a rodent, of course I would find it appealing (although the landscape would look better without any billboard). although at first I didn't know what shocks had to do with saving squirrels; but then I asked f, my own personal human wikipedia, and now I know. in case you too are wondering - shocks have to do with the ability of a car to swerve and the driver's ability to maintain control of the vehicle.

speaking of things I didn't know, until I read the wikipedia entry on billboards, I didn't realize how many different types of adverts are considered billboards. I never thought of it but posters are considered billboards - of course, logical - makes sense. in addition to posters and traditional billboards (reference above), there are mechanical billboards, digital billboards, mobile billboards, sidewalk billboards, online billboards. geez, there are so many billboards and types of billboards it's enough to drive someone crazy!

in fact, billboards do drive folks crazy and some communities have gone so far as to ban various types of billboards. currently four u.s. states ban billboards - alaska, hawaii, maine and vermont. two more states, oregon and rhode island, have prohibited the construction of new billboards. many communities, have ordinances that cap the number of billboards or have enacted other means to minimize, reduce, and/or restrict large outdoor advertising. in cleveland, we are seeing more giant digital billboards cluttering the highways. these billboards have triggered a firestorm of controversy. in a couple days the cleveland city planning commission is taking up the issue of these billboards at a public meeting. the weekly scene magazine recently had an article entitled 'advertising rage' which addresses the issue of these digital billboards and how there's a controvery regarding the company that owns most of the billboards in the area reluctance to adhere to the law to reduce the number of traditional billboards in a community each time they put up a digital billboards (which incidently can display the equivilent of 7.5 different messages every minute!).
then of course there's billboard magazine which was founded in 1894 as a trade journal for the 'bill posting industry' - hence it's name. however, so it evolved into a magazine that tracked the entertainment business, specifically tracking the nation's hit music. in case you are wondering

the artists with the most #1 hits:
1. The Beatles (20)
2. Mariah Carey (18)
3. Elvis Presley (17) (Pre-Hot 100 charts and Hot 100)
4. Michael Jackson (13)
5. Madonna (12) (tie)
5. The Supremes (12) (tie)
7. Whitney Houston (11)
8. Janet Jackson (10) (tie)
8. Stevie Wonder (10) (tie)
10. Bee Gees (9) (tie)
10. Elton John (9) (tie)

artists with most top 10 singles
1. Madonna (37)
2. Elvis Presley (36)
3. The Beatles (29)
4. Michael Jackson (28)
5. Janet Jackson (27) (tie)
6. Stevie Wonder (27) (tie)

beatle's chart topping 'can't buy me love'


photos: roadside billboard, cleveland august 2008; billboard posters, nyc april 2008; building billboard, nyc april 2008.

7 comments:

Steve said...

I didn't get the connection between shocks and squirrels, either. Thanks for explaining it! (Makes me wonder about the overall effectiveness of that billboard, though it is cute...well, as cute as a billboard can be.)

Who knew Mariah Carey had 18 #1 songs?? I'm not sure I could name any!

tut-tut said...

Hey, I know a Squirrel . . .

Megan said...

I love that you have not corrected the post title all day.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I love Ogden Nash!!!

And it's so funny - more synchronicity? - we were driving through Johannesburg recently, a city full of billboards and I started photographing them thinking how funny some were, how clever others were and how they were "pictures" in their own right - as much as I hate the blasted things!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

steve - glad I can held educate others on the connection - tee hee!

tut - squirrels are just about the nicest folk!

megan - geez I'm mortified....but expect I'll get over it by maybe next year!

av - yet another love-hate relationship

mouse (aka kimy) said...

ps to steve - I know I can't name any mariah carey songs either....

WAT said...

The Beatles!

And again, The Beatles!

And one last time, THE BEATLES!