MicroAcquire started sharing stories of successful acquisitions on billboards in June, 2022. He would share the tweets from the founders of companies that had been acquired. This meant that the billboards were focused on the founders themselves.
Other locations included:
Mind Management, Not Time Management Billboard
David Kadavy promoted his latest book on a billboard in Times Square. He used the strategy to create a pseudo-event to get people to talk about his product.
He wrote about the experiment at How I Put My Book on a Times Square Billboard (What Did It Cost, & Did It Work?. The campaign cost $455.58 – which included spending $200 on a photographer to capture the ad. It resulted in:
- a retweet from Tim Ferriss. He had run a similar campaign.
- an opportunity to speak (over Zoom) at New York Public Library. This opportunity also had SEO benefits.
Tools Of Titans Billboard
Tim Ferriss asked all of his podcast guests the same question at the end of each episode. “What message would you put on a billboard for millions to see?”
In December, 2016, he shared 6-10 of his favourite responses on billboards in New York City. These were spread across 80 billboards.
He said it was sincere thank you to all of his guests and listeners who joked that he should make some real billboards for Tools of Titans.
He shared a video of him standing next to one of the billboards.
Pieter Levels Billboard
In June, 2021, Pieter bought a billboard in front of Apple’s headquarters. He used a service called Blip to do this for $24.46. The billboard got 1.5+ million views to Remote OK. This equalled 1.6¢ per 1,000 views.
The real value didn’t lie with the billboard itself. The tweet announcing the billboard went viral and got a lot of attention in the indie hacking community.
Pieter promoted the Tweet on Twitter. It got 311,220 extra views for $500 ($1.60 per 1,000 views.)
Blip later said that the campaign received an estimated 57,000 impressions with an average daily spend of $18.
Rows ran an ad on a Billboard in February, 2022. The goal was the same as the other case studies: to get attention from people talking about the billboard instead of the billboard itself.
Their advertisement hinged on their positioning as a brand closer to the consumer. They leveraged the Us vs Them narrative and created an irreverent ad. You can check out the designs here. They decided to place the ads in locations close to the headquarters of Microsoft and Google.
They sent a tweet teasing the campaign. This led to 100k impressions and 140 new followers in two days.
They booked people to go and take photos of the billboards. Unfortunately, many of these were low quality.
They edited the best photos and created a press release. After 2 days, they had features in 9+ media outlets, 300+ sign-ups and social media attention.
The 4 Hour Chef: BitTorrent
In 2011, Tim Ferriss announced that Amazon Publishing has acquired his latest book, The 4 Hour Chef. In early 2012, Barnes and Noble announced that it wasn’t going to stock any Amazon Publishing titles. Tim worked with marketer Ryan Holiday to create a bundle to give away for free on BitTorrent.
The bundle included more than 250 pages of material, interviews, extras, videos, and photos.
You can learn more about the approach at Your Book Is A Start Up: Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Chef, And The BitTorrent Publishing Model. Ryan also shared more about the launch at How To Growth Hack Anything: Lessons from A “BitTorrent Best Seller.”
Ryan shared more stats from the launch in that post. It led to:
- 2 million downloads
- 1,261,152 page visits
- 880,009 Amazon impressions
- Over 3 million people downloaded the bundle
- The audiobook received more than 25 million impressions inside BitTorrent
- He got over 117K new email subscribers
The Kanye Story
In 2018, Harry created a dating website for fans of Kanye West. The idea went viral – but the signups died down just as quickly. Harry realized that he had to get the attention of Kanye himself, so rented billboards in high profile locations.
The stunt ended with him having a phone conversation with the CFO of Yeezy.
He shared more about the experience at The Kanye Story
Ryan Holiday published Trust Me, I’m Lying in 2012. The book shows how savvy marketers can manipulate the news cycle and distort the truth.
Ryan showed just how easy it is to manipulate the media as part of his launch campaign. He used the techniques from the book to get featured in many news reports. The catch? The information he told them was false. The case study was featured at Forbes and generated a lot of conversation in the PR world. The original article was at How This Guy Lied His Way Into MSNBC, ABC News, The New York Times and More.
He even lied to generate press around the book deal. He shared how easy it was to spread misinformation in Exposing the Racket: A Simple Stunt Reveals How Blogs Will Print Anything for Pageviews.