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  • Madison's Randy Moss Billboards

       January 28, 2005

    As Wisconsin's feud with Randy Moss continues, we've seen a lot of traffic here looking for information about Madison's Randy Moss billboards.

    We certainly don't want to let any you down, so I went out today to take some pictures of these infamous billboards. First, let me apologize for the quality of the images, but it's the best I could do while driving. Doug Moe of the Capital Times has a good article out with some background info on the billboards (and as always, since doesn't archive anything, you can read the whole article in the extended entry below). No one knows (yet) who payed for these ads, although Adams Outdoor Advertising, who put them up, promises that the secret of what business payed for these will be out next week.

    Here are the billboards:

    Once again, I apologize for the poor quality. This first billboard alludes to Moss' $25,000 fine for squirting an official with a water bottle.

    These next two billboards mock him for running over a "meter maid" and being fined $1,200 (and getting probation) and paying $10,000 to "moon" Packer fans.

    And here's the kicker: "Zero rings for Randy Moss: PRICELESS". Indeed it is. I'm curious what business put these up. They're certainly getting enough positive publicity.

    Doug Moe: Having our fun with Randy

    By Doug Moe
    January 28, 2005
    ANOTHER ONE of those "teaser" billboard ads has people in Madison talking, which is the reason they're put up in the first place.

    The current ads are on a series of four billboards on Aberg Avenue, not far from Oscar Mayer.

    Local media have been on it, but if you've managed to miss them, the boards are critical of Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss and his notorious antics, including "mooning" the crowd at Lambeau Field as the Vikings were knocking the Packers out of this season's NFL playoffs.

    One of the boards mentions the $10,000 fine Moss got hit with for his moon-over-Lambeau stunt, and then the last board says, "No Rings for Randy Moss - PRICELESS." It's a parody of the long-running MasterCard ad campaign.

    I have to admit I am kind of a sucker for those billboards, silly as they are. It's fun to try to guess who is behind them before the "secret" is finally revealed.

    In the case of the Moss boards, the secret will be out next week, says Chris Eigenberger, general manager of Adams Outdoor Advertising in Madison.

    "It's a local firm," Eigenberger was saying this week.

    Who is behind them, Chris?

    "Aren't they fun?" Eigenberger said.

    Eigenberger is quite adept at being coy. I remember talking to him a couple of years ago when local billboards were full of ads for Outhouse Springs, a bottled water employing the unusual marketing campaign of claiming to taste like urine.

    At first, Eigenberger appeared to indicate that a company was actually trying to market the bottled water as a novelty, like the pet rock. Then he conceded that Adams was probably involved itself, in an effort to show just how much "buzz" a billboard ad campaign could create. At one point there were 17 Outhouse Springs boards up in the Madison area.

    It should be noted that teaser ad campaigns are not always wildly successful.

    Last fall in the Twin Cities, a number of boards went up saying simply: "Don't vote."

    Unfortunately, several of the boards were in areas with large minority populations, and the NAACP and other groups quickly criticized the ads.

    You may not be shocked to learn the ads were for a Twin Cities radio personality. The updated billboards said "Don't vote for Dave," referring to morning host Dave Ryan, who wasn't running for anything, but so what?

    Madison had a somewhat controversial radio billboard last fall, when Z-104 morning team Connie and Fish were on a board spoofing the Audrey Seiler disappearance. The Daily Cardinal called the boards "appalling," but Connie and Fish were nice to my daughter on her birthday, so I won't say a word against them.

    Another tease that backfired happened about the same time as the Twin Cities' "Don't vote" fiasco.

    On a highway in Rolling Meadows, Ill., near O'Hare Airport on the Tri-State Tollway, boards went up with a two-word message: "Losing sucks."

    The great minds behind the boards belonged to the Chicago Wolves minor league hockey team. The Chicago Tribune reported: "The idea was to build some preseason buzz for the Wolves."

    The city of Rolling Meadows received numerous complaints about the language on the sign, and the mayor wrote a letter to the Wolves (how did he know they were behind it?) expressing concern.

    In a few days the sign was changed to: "Losing bites."

    Writing a letter is one thing, but in March 2000 the city manager of Azusa, Calif., went a step further. There was a billboard over Azusa Boulevard saying this: "On Sunday, April 9th, six beautiful women will show you their panties." It was a teaser for the debut of the Los Angeles Avengers arena football team - or its cheerleaders - and city manager Rick Cole was so offended he obscured the last two words with black paint, leading to an investigation for possible criminal vandalism. One of his own cops turned him in.

    The Randy Moss boards are not likely to be controversial. In Wisconsin, slamming Moss is a popular pastime, so it's hard to guess who is behind the boards. If you really wanted to create a buzz, your message would say, "Randy Moss good guy."

    I do have good news for whoever is responsible for the boards. They probably won't be sued by MasterCard. A few years ago, Ralph Nader's presidential campaign ran an ad along the lines of: "Political fund-raiser, $1,000 a plate; special interest promises, $100 billion; the truth - priceless." MasterCard sued on various trademark and copyright grounds, but lost the suit.

    I suppose Moss might sue, but I wouldn't advise it, not in Dane County Circuit Court. He still wouldn't get a ring, but I believe he'd get the finger.

    Posted by at January 28, 2005 11:15 AM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Ryan at February 2, 2005 10:21 PM

    Why are you taking pictures while driving??????

    Good job though.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Brian at February 22, 2005 03:11 PM

    We beat you guys and you always try to fall back to that "we don't have any rings yet" stuff to make yourselves feel better. It sucks not having any rings, but live in the now, You got owned in Lambeau, all you cheesers should take it like men. I really don't get Wisconsins fascination with Moss, I saw all of those signs ragging on him for leaving the previous game early, and he came out and won the game for us.




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