I use billboards as a way to decide NOT to attend events.
An event advertised on a billboard tells me it has been watered down for the masses – for anybody who lays their eyes upon it. With a billboard, the audience is necessarily heterogeneous. And to appeal to such an audience is to fit an event in the boring middle of a bell curve rather than its exciting extremes.
And this applies not just to billboards, but any form of mass advertisement – TV, radio, magazines or those trailers they play in movie theaters.
In the past, most events were designed for the mediocre middle rather than the exciting, but risky extremes. This was a necessity, considering the high cost of publicity. Everybody aimed to make a popular hit with a low risk of failure. Mainstream Hollywood movies which run expensive television ads continue to be built this way.
Sure, some of these mainstream events might delight me. Nevertheless, the likelihood of that happening is lower than something built for people just like me, and just for people like me.
Thanks to the internet, there has never been a better time to seek out exactly what you want. Rather than Hollywood’s thirtieth interpretation of a superhero, it might a podcast for people who grow hydroponic plants or an ask-me-anything session with that Kenyan javelin thrower who became a world champion by watching Youtube videos.
And those niches will only continue to multiply and become easier to find. So consider ditching that billboard.