• The Bobby Bones Billboard Stunt

    Yesterday Insider talked about a  billboard publicity stunt that backfired.  Here’s a billboard publicity stunt which was effective.

    Bobby Bones is host of a nationally syndicated country music radio program.  He devoted his April 26 podcast to describing a billboard stunt to promote his podcast.  In 2014 Bobby anonymously spent $13,000 on four downtown Nashville billboards to generate publicity and promote his show.

    Here’s Bobby describing why he did it.

    “The listeners weren’t really getting the show yet.  The people inside the industry hated the show…it wasn’t resonating at first…nobody was with us and we were just getting crushed in the press.  Ratings weren’t that good…So what I decided to do was to come up with a scheme to get people talking about us.  To get people feeling sorry for the show instead of hating it.  To get people acknowledging that we were here….”

    The Creative

    “I thought why not just go for it and buy some billboards…I decided to put up a generic message, white back with black letters that just said “Go Away Bobby Bones” I didn’t think it was too distastful.  I thought it would leave room for people to go hmmm, I wonder if that is Bobby or Bobby Bones who’s that or I don’t agree with that.”

    And the results

    “I remember the morning that they went up…I told noone.  And so the billboards go up and people start calling about them.  People start calling about them when they see the little guy up on the billboard unrolling the letters…I had it on such lockdown that my company didn’t know who did it.  The local news was trying to figure out who put them up and I was completely on lockdown.  What I’d done is created a company which paid another company which I’d created which paid the billboard company.  So there was no way to track it back to me…And people couldn’t figure out.  And they only way it ever got revealed was in my book two years later.”

    Insider’s take:  A simple message.  Simple creative.  A simple buy.  Big publicity.  The stunt must have generated viewers and ratings because Bones is still around four years later.

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