8 thoughts on “Billboard Balance

  1. Mike Kennedy says:

    Hah. That billboard post is a good one. Didn’t the Obama Administration spent about $20 million on signs posted on stimulus job sites crediting the administration?

    You should have come to the St. Cloud airshow a few weeks back. It was fantastic — the F-22 Raptor and the Blue Angels were very entertaining. My son went to the Duluth Air Show. He said it was more a military show than an air show, but he liked the Thunderbirds.

  2. Dennis Lang says:

    Wow–fascinating. How do we explain it? And how efficacious are billboards in conveying this kind of message? Sadly, we’re too often predisposed to gravitate toward that which reinforces our predisposition and effectively close-out and discount any alternative view points.

  3. Joe Loveland says:

    It’s a really interesting question. Let’s assume that Democrats and Republicans are spending equal amounts on messaging, but Republicans are choosing to use more of their equally sized budget on billboards. (I suspect that Republicans are probably spending more overall on messaging, so that’s partially the answer to your question, but for the purposes of discussion, let’s pretend the two sides are spending equally. )

    One theory: Conservative activists maybe like messaging that is extremely tangible and directly in front of their eyes. The radio and TV ads maybe feel more ephemeral, because the majority of them are never seen by you. But the billboard you drive by on the way to work every day is an investment that is more tangible and personally gratifying. It requires imagination and faith in the vendor to appreciate the impact of TV ads that you don’t see. Not so for the billboard you see every day on your commute. Maybe conservatives disproportionately have more of a need for this kind of direct, linear, non-speculative accountability, and credit? Total water cooler speculation, based on nothing.

  4. Newt says:

    I can’t imagine liberals would be well-served sponsoring billboards depicting abortions, Obama or Barney Frank.

    But don’t let me discourage them. Please go ahead.

  5. Mrs. Fay says:

    One of the most wonderful things about living in Maine is…..billboards are illegal! When driving on the highway you see….trees and the occasional moose!

  6. Maren says:

    The pro-life movement billboards, I think, are a separate question from the political ones, but they seem to be linked, maybe by something as simple (and simultaneously complex) as Belief. I would imagine the people who post billboards feel strongly about the sentiments they espouse so publicly – and might I add at great expense. So, do those with opposing viewpoints have less strength of their convictions? Or do they simply think their positions will be better served (and promoted) through advertising vehicles other than billboards? Or do they simply have things to do other than oppose extreme viewpoints espoused along highways in rural areas? I am pro-choice. I don’t buy billboards. I support Pro-choice Resources and contribute to Planned Parenthood. (Annual Bowl-a-thon, baby!)

    I will say that I see a lot of “billboards” against Palin, Bachman and the like on my Facebook sidebar. Maybe the opposing viewpoint you reference is choosing to spend its money in areas where they feel they can reach people they can impact, rather than in rural areas where they may feel people are less likely to be open to a change of ideas.

    But, maybe I’ll look into that billboard of Barney Frank… Ooh! Or Bernie Sanders.

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