When a bright-red billboard accusing a man named Michael of being a “lying husband” went up in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, traffic stopped.
“Michael – GPS tracker – $250, Nikon camera with zoom lens – $1,600, catching my LYING HUSBAND and buying this billboard with our investment account — Priceless. Tell Jessica you’re moving in!,” the billboard, signed “Jennifer,” read, copying the “Priceless” ads from MasterCard.
A day later, the ad was gone, replaced by another ad from “Jennifer” with a message to “Jessica” to, “Meet me at Yodaddy’s at 7:00 p.m. for some wine therapy.”
Click HERE to watch a live feed of the billboard.
“Yodaddy’s” would be Yo Daddy Dessert Bar, a newly opened gourmet yogurt shop located a few hundred feet away from the billboard, and owned by the same man who owns the billboard.
The billboard’s message went viral but the owner’s close connection led many to question whether “Jennifer” was really a scorned wife, or just a savvy advertising ploy.
“I can’t confirm that,” Marty Kotis, the president and CEO of Kotis Properties, which owns Yo Daddy and OutdoorSignage.com, which manages the billboard, told ABCNews.com today, when asked whether his company is behind the billboard’s message.
“I just can’t comment on that right now,” he said, declining to confirm whether a “Jennifer” exists and, if so, whether she paid the roughly $2,500 per month advertisers are charged for that particular billboard space.
Kotis did confirm that he paid for an off-duty police officer to be present at the restaurant from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday night, in case a crowd came to watch a potential showdown, or therapy session, between “Jessica” and “Jennifer.”
Kotis says there was no drama, nor a noticeable increase in traffic to Yo Daddy, but he is pleased by the reaction the billboard has received. After nearly 30 years in the commercial, real estate development and investment business, this billboard is the company’s first venture into outdoor advertising.
“In the past, in the billboard industry, they’re putting up ads just trying to convince someone to buy something instead of ads with humor,” he said. “When you think about a billboard, it should be more like a Facebook post that starts a conversation and gets people to share it.”
The billboard, which today features a message from Michael that reads, “I should have bought you flowers,” has definitely generated a conversation online.
“Well played,” one Facebook user wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page, with another adding, “I am a marketing director elsewhere and I thought it was genius! Plus, I didn’t even know about Yo Daddy until I saw it on the billboard. Now I can’t wait to try it out!”
“What a terrible marketing ploy with the Cheating spouse sign … I can tell you who will never eat at “YO Daddy’s” and thats THIS GUY!!!,” a Facebook user of the opposite mind wrote.
Kotis says he’s pleased that people now at least know what Yo Daddy is, but he’s even more pleased by the fact that people will now keep looking at his company’s billboard, which is, of course, available for rent.
“We have been flooded with advertising requests since [Wednesday],” he said. “A lot of people are looking at that sign. I think once people start looking up and seeing an interesting billboard, they train their eye on it pretty often, as long as you keep it interesting.”
Through it all, Kotis remained coy about the intent of the current ad on his firm’s billboard, and about what will happen next.
“It’s sort of organic now, so we’re waiting to see what happens,” he said. “I think today’s post is interesting and we’ll be curious to see what happens next.”