The "I ❤️J K Rowling" billboard campaign has now embarked on a North American tour, with a digital billboard spotted in Los Angeles today.
Once again it's Chris Elston who has raised money from local sponsors and arranged the billboard. He previously had a billboard up in Vancouver, Canada, which was removed in just a day after complaints from local trans activists who claim the billboard is transphobic. The US part of the North American tour began with a billboard in San Francisco.
This billboard carries a subline, ‘Sponsored by the JK Rowling Fan Club, Hollywood Chapter’, to give a nod to the LA man who donated the money for the media buy.
Los Angeles ❤️ JK Rowling pic.twitter.com/hsYrJwAUMz
— chris elston 🇨🇦 (@christophelston) September 30, 2020
Los Angeles loves JK Rowling, Chris tweeted out to announce this billboards existence. The digital billboard is facing Los Angeles notorious 405 highway, where traffic often meets a standstill, meaning plenty of people will have time to see it.
The campaign is deceptively simple, as it began in Edinburgh where J K Rowling lives, but that poster was removed the same day it went up. When people see news about billboards being removed for 'hate speech', yet the message on it is "I love", the cognitive dissonance comes crumbling down.
What began as an advertising idea thought up by Kellie-Jay Keen, aka "Posie Parker", who was a guest on the Adland Podcast episode 8, has now grown into a global phenomenon. It is not the billboards themselves that reach people, it's the press generated by each billboard is worth millions of dollars. Anyone driving past, not familiar with the campaign, will simply see it as a message of author fandom. Where will these billboards pop up next?
I was stuck on the 405 this morning near Torrence and saw it.
I'm beginning to see this campaign as ART, It's not the campaign itself that does anything, it's the reactions to it! Brilliant.
That's a good point.
I don't quite understand the hubub around this billboard series. What are they meant to achieve?